In just a few weeks we will celebrate the 245th anniversary of our nation’s beginning! In these years we have risen to become the greatest nation in modern history. America was constructed with a novel Declaration of Independence and subsequent Constitution that recognized in law the greatest of human freedoms. Among those freedoms enshrined into law was the free right to worship God without coercion or obstruction.
Not only was our nation founded with these freedoms, but our founding fathers also recognized that Divine Providence was clearly evident in our establishment.
- “The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” George Washington, 1778.
- “It becomes a people publicly to acknowledge the overruling hand of Divine Providence and their dependence upon the Supreme Being as their Creator and Merciful Preserver . . .” Samuel Huntington, 1791. Signatory to the Declaration of Independence
To further recognize this reality the motto “In God We Trust” has graced our currency – on and off – throughout our history. But it was a law unanimously passed in joint resolution by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 30, 1956,that established IN GOD WE TRUST as the national motto of the United States.
Just years earlier the U.S. Supreme Court in Zorach v. Clauson (1952) found that a New York school time release program for students to attend religious instruction was constitutional. Justice Douglas’s majority opinion dismissed the free exercise claim by pointing out that the parents of the children in the released time program had given their permission. The court could find no coercion or obstruction to religious practice in this case and concluded in a widely quoted statement. He disposed of the establishment clause issue by writing, “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Accommodating people of faith who desire religious education “follows the best of our traditions” and “respects the religious nature of our people.”
Stop and think about this!
- Our nation’s Congress, unanimously declare in law, IN GOD WE TRUST!
- President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law.
- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the choice of and access to religious education as a Constitutional right.
In the 1950s each branch of the Federal government acted to establish that we are indeed “One nation under God!”
As written here before (link) the Catholic Church in America has long laid the foundation for what had now become a political reality. With our nation’s first consecration to Our Lady on May 28, 1792, by Bishop John Carroll, he named her Patroness of America with these words: “I shall only add this my earnest request, that to the exercise of the sublimest virtues, faith, hope and charity, you will join a fervent and well-regulated devotion to the Holy Mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; that you will place great confidence in her in all your necessities. Having chosen her the special patroness of this Diocese, you are placed, of course, under her powerful protection; and it becomes your duty to be careful to deserve its continuance by a zealous imitation of her virtues and a reliance on her motherly superintendence.”
Bishop Carroll’s consecration of the United States has been repeated throughout our nation’s history by the U.S. Bishops. There is no doubt that our nation is consecrated to Our Lady and that she is Our Patroness. (See Springs forth from the Immaculate Conception)
Considering this backdrop, is it coincidence, or something more, that just weeks after President Eisenhower signs the bill is when Sr. Mary Ephrem is inspired in prayer to bring to our attention the fact that Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin, is Patroness of America (in short, Our Lady of America)? It is at this same time that the construction on the upper church of the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC is in full swing, further showing our nations love for Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin, Patroness of America.
Perhaps Heaven was giving recognition to the fact that America is a Nation Under God. By 1956 both the Church (in consecration) and the secular government (in Law) had given full recognition to this fact!
But Heaven is calling America to an even higher purpose. The Devotion to Our Lady of America calls us as citizens of this great nation to seek purity through imitation of the Immaculate Conception and the Holy Family. In doing so, an abundance of Grace will come upon us and strengthen us to fulfill Heaven’s plan.
This fulfillment would, in fact, cause a great diminishment in the power of evil. As we can see since 1956 there has been continuous moral decay in our nation. We see the social ills that bring so much pain to our people. And our government has enshrined into law much that is against the natural law and clearly an afront to our Creator. Evil is aggressively blocking Heaven’s plan.
Have we strayed too far? I take great solace in Genesis 18:32 “But he persisted: “Please, do not let my Lord be angry if I speak up this last time. What if ten are found there”? The Lord replies “For the sake of the ten, he replied, I will not destroy it”.
So, if there are still faithful and holy people in our nation then it will not be destroyed. However, the Bible in many places speaks of punishment and chastisement for nations that stray from God. Even America has experienced this chastisement. In the 1950s when the government and Church declared us as “One Nation Under God” we had just experienced the great chastisement of two World Wars and the Great Depression. We were tested and we returned to God.
Fortunately, Heaven has also given us a way to appease His Divine Justice: seek the Virtues, avoid the Vices, pray, and receive the Sacraments – especially Confession and Eucharist. Furthermore, Our Lady of Fatima gave us the First Saturday Devotion as a specific way to appease Divine Justice by making atonement for offenses (sin) against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Mother of Mercy Chapel has been allowed by Bishop Kevin Rhoades to have Mass in the Chapel on the First Saturday of each month for this purpose.
This is our institutional effort at the Mother of Mercy Chapel to appease the Justice of God. We urge you to follow a personal plan as outlined in the Devotion to Our Lady of America of seeking purity in your life by imitation of the Holy Family and frequenting the Sacraments.
With this abundance of Grace, we as a nation will change our culture and lead the world to peace. I pray that we once again rise to recognize that we are “One Nation Under God!”