Over at Lay Catholics: National Association of American Lay Catholics is a marvelous posting of a prayer by St. Augustine. As Catholic lay persons it is imperative that we include our country and our leaders in our daily prayers; we are to be salt and light in the world and as such, it is important that we be realistic about the communal nature of sin and the importance of communal repentance. Just as we ask the prayers of the Saints for our intentions, expecting that their holiness will be an aid to us, so too we must realize that our prayers and penances for our country, post Christian as it has become, are of great benefit to all as well.
I am quoting this prayer here because it is worth praying! A finer prayer for this time and place in history I have not read. Let us pray this together where and whenever we are!
Prayer for the United States of America
Prayer of St. Augustine (†430)
BEFORE Thine eyes, O Lord, we bring our sins, and we compare them with the stripes we have received.
If we examine the evil we have wrought, what we suffer is little, what we deserve is great.
What we have committed is very grievous, what we have suffered is very slight.
We feel the punishment of sin, yet withdraw not from the obstinacy of sinning.
Under Thy lash our inconstancy is visited, but our sinfulness is not changed.
Our suffering soul is tormented, but our neck is not bent.
Our life groans under sorrow, yet amends not in deed.
If Thou spare us, we correct not our ways: if Thou punish, we cannot endure it.
In time of correction we confess our wrongdoing: after Thy visitation we forget that we have wept.
If Thou stretchest forth Thy hand, we promise amendment; if Thou withholdest the sword, we keep not our promise.
If Thou strikest, we cry out for mercy; if Thou sparest, we again provoke Thee to strike
Here we are before Thee, O Lord, confessedly guilty; we know that unless Thou pardon we shall deservedly perish.
Grant then, O almighty Father, without our deserving it, the pardon we ask; Thou Who madest out of nothing those Who ask Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
V. Deal not with us, O Lord, according to our sins.
R. Neither reward us according to our iniquities.
Let us pray.—O God, Who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy suppliant people, and turn away the scourges of Thy wrath, which we deserve for our sins. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
For today, pray with me the above prayer.
Have mercy oh Lord. +Amen