Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

(Due to Bulletin deadlines, I’m writing this on Nov. 15, well
before its publication. Please excuse anything that seems out of
date.)
Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving
day and weekend, and trust that you gave good and worthy
thanks to God for all His gifts to you and our nation. In light of
that, I thought you might be interested in reading the texts of
two important historical documents.
President George Washington, October 3, 1789.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the
providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for
His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor,
and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint
Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the
United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be
observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many
signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an
opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for
their safety and happiness. Now therefore I do recommend and
assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted
by the People of these States to the service of that great and
glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good
that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in
rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His
kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous
to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold
mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence,
which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late
war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty,
which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational
manner, in which we have been enabled to establish
constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and
particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil
and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means
we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in
general for all the great and various favors which He hath been
pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in
most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great
Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our
national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in
public or private stations, to perform our several and relative
duties properly and punctually, to render our national
government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a
Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly
and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all
Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown
kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government,
peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of
true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among
them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a
degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of
October in the year of our Lord 1789. — George Washington
President Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863.
A Proclamation. The year that is drawing towards its close, has
been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful
skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that
we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others
have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that
they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is
habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of
Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled
magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign
States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been
preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws
have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed
everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that
theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies
and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of
strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national
defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship;
the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the
mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have
yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has
steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been
made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the
country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength
and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large
increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath
any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the
gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us
in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It
has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly,
reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and
one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite
my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also
those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign
lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November
next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent
Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them
that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such
singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble
penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to His tender care all those who have become widows,
orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in
which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the
interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the
nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the
Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony,
tranquillity and Union….
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of
October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the
Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Advent. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, during
which we prepare spiritually for the celebration of the birth of
our Savior at Christmas. Please take some time to plan ahead for
the penitential season of Advent so that it will truly be a time of
holiness, not merely the shopping time between Black Friday
and the day Santa Claus comes.
Please see today’s insert with the full schedule of
Advent events. Let me remind you to take particular advantage
of the increased confession opportunities as well as the many
existing opportunities for weekday Mass. Also, I invite you all
to attend my three-part Advent Series: “Looking at the
Nativity: Mary, Jesus and the Holy Night,” on the first 3
Thursdays in Advent. I also ask you to plan to attend “Lessons
& Carols” on Sunday, December 9, at 7:00pm.
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles

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