2017 Peace Novena Day 9: Wisdom from Abraham Lincoln

2017 Peace Novena Day 9

Let us pray for our nation, ourselves, and for our new leaders taking office today. May we practice compassionate listening, merciful justice, and a true embrace of unity of purpose.

Divided We Fall

Today we inaugurate the 45th President of the United States. And so let us pray for him not because we love or hate him but because he will lead this country for the next four years.

On this important day, I’d like to share some words of wisdom from our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, whose legacy resonates for us still. Our country is not as broken and divided as it was while Lincoln was President, but it is VERY divided and broken in significant ways.

It is our choice to keep it that way or not. With Lincoln’s words, may we feel inspired hope, take courage, and find comfort.

Abraham Lincoln

Photo courtesy of www.goodfreephotos.com

Quotes by Abraham Lincoln

  • America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
  • A house divided against itself cannot stand.
  • Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?
  • If the great American people will only keep their temper on both sides of the line, the troubles will come to an end and the question which now distracts the country will be settled just as surely as all other difficulties of like character.
  • I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
  • We can succeed only by concert. It is not, ‘Can any of us imagine better,’ but ‘Can we all do better?’
  • We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.
  • You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
  • I am rather inclined to silence.
  • When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.
  • To the best of my judgment, I have labored for, and not against, the Union. As I have not felt, so I have not expressed any harsh sentiment towards our Southern brethren. I have constantly declared, as I really believed, the only difference between them and us is the difference of circumstances.
  • I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
  • The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.
  • He has a right to criticize who has a heart to help.
  • My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope on earth.

And I end with two more recent wise men: Anthony deMello, SJ, and comedian, Louis C.K.:

These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness, and worship without awareness. ― Anthony de Mello

Self-love is a good thing but self-awareness is more important. You need to once in a while go ‘Uh, I’m kind of an asshole.’ ― Louis C.K.

With that, I bid you peace, hope, and love.

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