A Prayer for Our Country at the Republican National Convention

Here is the prayer that I offered at the Republican National Convention:

With firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, let us pray:

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, we beg your continued blessings on this sanctuary of freedom, and on all of those who proudly call America home.  We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life.  Bless those families whose ancestors arrived on these shores generations ago, as well as those families that have come recently, to build a better future while weaving their lives into the rich tapestry of America.

We lift up to your loving care those afflicted by the recent storms and drought and fire.  We ask for the grace to stand in solidarity with all those who suffer.  May we strive to include your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, in the production and prosperity of a people so richly blessed.

Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us, and on those who would govern us:  the president and vice-president, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and on all those who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office, especially Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan.  Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country.  Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself.

Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty.  Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom. Make us truly free, by tethering freedom to truth and ordering freedom to goodness.  Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love; prudently, and with justice; courageously, and in a spirit of moderation.  Enkindle in our hearts a new sense of responsibility for freedom’s cause.  And make us ever-grateful for all those who, for more than two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg your mighty hand upon our beloved men and women in uniform.

May we know the truth of your creation, respecting the laws of nature and nature’s God, and not seek to replace it with idols of our own making.  Give us the good sense not to cast aside the boundaries of righteous living you first inscribed in our hearts even before inscribing them on tablets of stone.  May you mend our every flaw, confirming our soul in self-control, our liberty in law.

We pray for all those who seek honest labor, as we thank you for the spirit of generosity to those in need with which you so richly blessed this nation.

We beseech your blessing on all who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who seek to conduct their lives in freedom.

Most of all, Almighty God, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.

For we are indeed “one nation under God.”

And “in God we trust.”

Dear God bless America. You who live and reign, forever and ever,

Amen!

(editors note: this is an updated version.  Last night’s posting was incomplete. )

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56 Responses to “A Prayer for Our Country at the Republican National Convention”

  1. Matthew W. I. Dunn says:

    Your Eminence,

    Could you, please, explain further how God is the “father” of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

    Thank you.

  2. John B. says:

    Your Eminence,

    This was beautiful and well-written. You’ve managed to present everything we as Catholic Americans believe. Here’s hoping you give the exact same words next week!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    It was a nice prayer but they SHOULD have had you do this at the BEGINNING of the CLOSING NIGHT as it was too hectic with all the Balloons, Confetti and cheering of the people who by this point were so hyped up.

  4. Linda Dailey says:

    Cardinal Dolan, What you say no longer holds any meaning for me. You and your brother bishops have lost many formerly engaged Catholic souls under your watch.

  5. Kevin Godin says:

    Most Holy Cardinal Dolan,

    I admire your efforts to strive to uphold the beliefs and sanctity of the Catholic Church. Your fight to protect the unborn against Obamacare is absolutely necessary. Speaking out on behalf of the Catholic Church as a representative of what we believe is exactly what the Catholic Church needs and is long overdue. I have attended many masses and listened to Priests and Bishops talk about their concern about keeping members engaged in the church. Why are so many people leaving the Catholic Church they ask. One of the main reasons is a lack of conviction and representation by the Catholic Church and its clergy of ots values and against the many societal influences that impact parishioners on a daily basis, i.e. abortion, attacks on the family, attacks on success. Please listen or read the speech presented by former Secretary of State Rice at the RNC. She explains convincingly how leadership in foreign policy and having a strong America will assure that we do not lose our rights to freedom and liberty. The same holds true for the Catholic Church.

  6. Alan R says:

    This is wonderful benediction…the splendor of truth and the beauty of goodness expressed in charity! Thanks be to God.

  7. Eileen Hedrick says:

    Your Excellency, Well done. As pilgrim people on the way home to our Father, we need the encouragement of our religious leaders in example, in words, and in the Holy Word. May God continue to bless America and may we strive to be worthy.
    May all we do give our God honor and glory.
    Blessings on you and your work, Eileen & John Hedrick

  8. Steve says:

    This is a beautiful prayer, your Eminence. I’m sure it touched the hearts of all those gathered in Tampa. I’ll be praying that the benediction you give at the Democratic convention bears great fruit as well.

  9. Enrique I Alonso says:

    I have great respect and esteem for Cardinal Dolan but why did he place Jesus’ name at the end of a list of God’s children? Why did he neglect to make the critical distinction between Jesus and the others, as if he were an adopted child, and not consubstantial with the Father? Does he believe other Catholics should follow his example on this?

    From where I stand as a Catholic his statement muddies the water, adds to confusion, and thereby fails to bring others to the truth of the Catholic faith, founded by God, and not just one belief among many, at the end of a list.

    In my view, if he could not speak. as a Roman Catholic, at the convention, then he has given up his religious freedom. Of course, I do not believe that to be the case, and therefore I hope that Cardinal Dolan explains what he did or expands and/or rectifies his statement.

  10. Pam Hill says:

    Thank-YOU!!! What a wonderful prayer! I like it as I like Cardinal Dolan!!!!

  11. JSue says:

    I heard so many references to God, His Natural Law, and His love and concern for us during the convention. The tributes by the speakers to our Lord were heartfelt. There could have been no better way to end the convention than with these inspirational words from Cardinal Dolan. For a few seconds, I wondered how Cardinal Dolan would calm the people, but then we witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit descend upon the conventioneers. Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for witnessing to all by making the Sign of the Cross at the beginning of the prayer. I am so glad you attended the RNC and that you prayed for all of us.

  12. Michael says:

    Your Emminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan:

    Thank you for your life long service to Christ and his Church. Your generosity to both U. S. political parties in the face of your and the U. S. bishops courageous stand on behalf of religious liberty and the magnanimous gesture to both candidates to the Al Smith Dinner is a rareity of “noblesse oblige” in an era of extreme partisanship and polarity in both politics and religion. Congratulations on your recent elevation to the College of Cardinals and your appointment to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. I recently read the speech that you made prior to the consistory and was profoundly moved first by the depth of historical insight and circumspection, and then by the hopeful itinerary related to the “new evangelization”. Both of my parents were nominal Catholics and left it to their children to decide on their own. After their divorce, I began a spiritual journey with a destination that ended as described by G. K. Chesterton – to have travelled around the “globe” (i.e. the religious terra incognita) to find oneself back home and to recognize it for the very first time. As a former Protestant, I appreciated the insight regarding the end of the Counter Reformation. It helped me to understand the internecine arguments regarding the Lefevbrists and the current adherents to the extraordinary form of the Mass, on the one hand; as well as the “conservatives” who adhere to the “novus ordo”; and the “progressives” and their elastic interpretation of the “spirit” of Vatican II. I understand now while although the Church following the Council of Trent was in continuity with the early church, it was also a parenthetical response to the Reformation, and that the post Vatican II Church called to the New Evangelization, while also in continuity with the early church, hearkens back to the time prior to both the Reformation and the Great Schism when the Church was still breathing with both lungs, east and west; when she was one as Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father are one. Hence the magnanimity of Pope John XXIII, in scrapping the housekeeping, dare I say minimalist, agenda formulated by the curia prior to the council, and opening the doors to the “nouvelle theology”, reaching all the way back to the apostles and the church fathers, reconnecting to our roots, to search for the gospel to preach to the People of God in this day and age. In addition, I am in awe and wonder at the hopeful itinerary you outlined for the future of the Church as a Missionary, Pilgrim People of God trodding the path of theosis and “ut unum sint.”

    Sempre sia lodato,

    Michael C.

  13. Californian says:

    We have been praying for you every day in our small rural parish. Please know, though many persons may detract you, that in your unwavering steadfast commitment to serving the Lord you stand not alone. An entire nation, the unworthy faithful of the greatest nation God has ever raised up on this Earth, is united to you in Spirit.

    I thank God for the detraction and insults you receive, because just as all of us, though nameless, support and share in your ministry through our prayer, so too does the Lord permit us to share in the detraction and insults and struggles. Your Cross has become Our Cross. Though nameless in this world, our names are known to God the Father, and through the intercession of Christ Jesus, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, our share of your cross will be greatly multiplied and transformed into our share of His glory.

  14. Tina says:

    Thank you Cardinal Dolan !! Our leaders needed to hear us ask God for his help and also sing his praises .This country has forgotten :( who is really in the drivers seat.

  15. Susan Follansbee says:

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for the richness of this prayer offered for our nation. I pray the graces offered to us, will be used wisely, especially by our leaders. I also pray for the truth about the direction our country is headed in, will be made known to all Americans. When I viewed the new movie: 2016, I finally understood some of our President’s motivations. I hope you too, will view this revealing movie.

    I pray for the anti-colonialism push, which will lead to the eventual demise of our great American nation, to be seen and stopped in time. I believe this will depend upon, and coincide with, the demise of the culture of death, which has seeped its evil way into our borders, across our schools, healthcare system, legal system, government and into our very homes. Many must pray and fast for such demons to be crushed. May Our Lady of America have the pleasure…

  16. Your Eminence, I wanted to tell you how impressed and delighted I was at your command of the audience at the convention last night. I was (as an occasional actor) worried for you, given the distractions of the balloons and confetti along with the euphoria accompanying the end of the day.

    I needn’t have worried.

    Your almost immediate command of the group was impressive, to say the least. I loved it.

    On a personal note, I think I’m the only one of my family that hadn’t met you when you were Milwaukee’s Archbishop. (My brother Tom was briefly in seminary, Judy worked in the seminary, and my brother-in-law is Fr. Mike Moran.) I regret that we never did meet – I think you’d be a fun person to chat with! Consider this a standing invitation, should you ever find yourself in Rochester, MN.

    Blessings to you!

    Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran

  17. Celinedesilva says:

    Dolan, Do you believe that Our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST IS GOD?
    Are you putting God on the same level as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

    Have you forgotten the following words of our Blessed Lord?

    “I and the Father are one.” [John 10:30]

    “Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.” John 8:58

    Are you a Roman Catholic bishop?

  18. Fr. Mark McKercher says:

    Best thing I heard at the whole convention!

  19. Margaret OConnor says:

    A wonderful prayer for all of us to live by. Thank you!

  20. D Paul says:

    God Bless the United States of America.

  21. Brantly says:

    Great prayer. Will you be giving the same prayer at the DNC?

  22. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    From your lips to God’s ears.

  23. Celinedesilva says:

    Mr. Dolan,

    In your politically correct, cowardly public plea, you have conviently forgotten or ignored The Nicene Creed of the Catholic Church.

    I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the
    Father, by Whom all things were made;

    Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made Man;

    He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven. He sitteth at the right hand of the Father:

    and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead: and His kingdom shall have no end.

    And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified: Who spoke by the prophets.

    And I believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection
    of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
    Amen.

  24. Bernie says:

    It was very moving and it was good to hear all the speakers invoke God’s name so often lest we forget who is the giver of all our liberties and freedoms. We truly are a blessed nation.

  25. J. Easter says:

    Awesome prayer Cardinal Dolan! I hope you will be allowed to say the same prayer at the Democrat National Convention. It may not be as well received but it is something they need to hear!

  26. Rachel says:

    Thank you for your beautiful prayer. I hope you say the same prayer at the Democratic Convention. I love the Church, and I pray for life and for religious freedom. Thank you for your prayers for our country. Despite my fear, I pray and hope that God will, in this election, defeat evil and lies and will give success to truth and life.

  27. Patricia Moore says:

    Perhaps not especially blessing Romney and Ryan would have been a more even handed blessing. The Church should appear to be more neutral.

  28. Lori Pieper says:

    Thank you, your Eminence! It was an inspiring prayer and very well delivered. I hope you will deliver the same, or something very like it, to the DNC. And above all, remind them that we have not only the gift, but the RIGHT to life as our Declaration of Independence says! The right to life for everyone, born and unborn

    God bless you.

  29. Anne-Marie Bobin says:

    Hello Cardinal Dolan,

    I have seen you on EWTN I really love that station, it continually reinforces my faith, it is the one of the best things that has happened in my life.

    The reason for this note is to say that your prayer was spot on, I am sure it touched a lot of people, you covered the important things, God Bless you Father in all your work you do in God’s name, may He bless you with good health and perserverance.

    Regards Anne-Marie

  30. JKubus says:

    This was a beautiful and timely prayer that addressed who we are as a country, and how we must govern. My first thought was how is Cardinal Dolan going to capture the hearts and minds of the audience with the post-Romney speech celebration still going strong. But with a booming delivery that pointed out where the rights and principles of our country come from, the Cardinal quickly quieted and captured the attention of the crowd.

    I hope the Republicans, and all elected officials who heard his prayer take the words to heart. Well done Cardinal Dolan!

  31. Tyler says:

    Amen.

  32. Great prayer. May the dear Lord answer it and guide us well in order to have leadership that truly seeks to follow the path initiated by our founding fathers.

  33. Christopher Michael says:

    Dear holy father, I loved your prayer, it was fantastic. That was quite a large, lively, pro-life, pro-religion crowd at the Repubican convention; I wondered how nervous I might be speaking there, but it must be a great memory! (Good luck next week – those guys have a little different philosophy on the meaning of a mother’s “health”; and what it means to love God.)

  34. Mary says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,
    Thank you for leading us. Your prayer at the convention gave beautiful expression to a shared prayer that is in the hearts of many people across our country, Catholic Christians and those of other faiths.
    We are always learning from you and are grateful for all the insights you give us, in your homilies and in what you write on these web pages. (We are also happy for your Sunday night visits with Fr. Benedict on EWTN.)
    Thanks be to God for your vocation and ministry!

  35. Seth says:

    I like that you squeezed in the lyrics from our spiritual national anthem. This pretty much says it all.

  36. Hoss says:

    I think Cardinal Dolan is the greatest Catholic American leader in the Church today. Fantastic job.

  37. jack goulet says:

    Your eminence,
    I believe it would be right, just and good to say the very same prayer at the democratic convention, with the exception of course of changing the 2 names mentioned. It would show the truth proclaimed to all and how prayer transcends religious differences. God bless you in your leadership. jack Goulet

  38. Katherine says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    Kathryn Jean Lopez included the following quotation in a column recounting her conversation with you the last night of the Republican Convention, after your benediction:

    “I am just hoping that a more conciliatory posture might especially be a light to the world and salt to the earth in a time when divisiveness and almost a hyperbolic partisanship seem to have overtaken the American political process,” he told me. And, he added, “if anyone should try to give a sense of bridge-building, I would hope it would be the Church. And so when both invitations came in, I seized them.”

    Cardinal Dolan, the reason why divisiveness and “hyperbolic partisanship” seems to have taken over the American political process is because the American political process has become a war of good vs. evil, freedom vs. tyranny.

    The problem I have with this approach of yours is that you are not meant to be a mediator between the forces of good and evil, reconciling the two and finding common ground, of which there is none. You, as a priest of Christ, are a mediator between The Kingdom of God and earth.

    Watching you, the leader of the Catholic Church in America, treating both sides of this war of freedom vs tyranny (politics is war by other means) as morally equivalent is incredibly frustrating to me, and damaging to the Church.

    Were it not for the truth and beauty I’ve found in the Catholic faith since hearing Fr. Corapi’s preaching several years ago and beginning my own study of it, I’d be tempted to drift away from the Church again, devoting my attentions to winning the political battle on earth, rather than keeping my gaze focused on making it to my true destination, the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Remember what Pope Benedict XVI said about the tyranny of moral relativism. Is that not what you are promoting by treating the Republican party and the Democrat Party as if there was no difference between the two, despite their party platforms which you can read to see the stark differences, and by treating President Obama, who has promoted evil ever since he was elected, and Mr. Romney with equal prominence by inviting both to dine with you at the public Al Smith dinner?

    Why does the Church seem afraid to take a side in this battle of good vs. evil; tyranny vs. liberty? Is it because it is afraid of losing tax exempt status? Why not give up tax exempt status so that the Church and speak freely and call a spade a spade, rather than contributing to the moral confusion of our day? November 6th is a pivotal point for the future of America, the world, and the Church.

    The Church should be doing everything in her power to fight for liberty! It is only in a land of liberty where people are free to do their Father’s will. How do they know what their Father’s will is? They learn of it from his Holy Church. God gives us free will. Abusive Governments take it away.

    It is evil to tolerate evil. Getting along and being nice is not the most important thing.

    God bless you.

    Katherine Krehbiel

  39. Greg says:

    It makes Jesus sound like a human person, not a Divine one.

  40. dave theisen says:

    I trust your prolife message will not change to comfort Mr. Obama’s abortion and infanticide posture next week. In Christ, Dave Theisen

  41. Dan Abe says:

    Please repeat your pro-life prayer to the Democrats this week. You might be disliked, but Christ was killed. Praying for Card. Dolan

  42. Nick Agostino says:

    The 4th paragraph is in itself, a most beautiful prayer. Why do some hate us for only wanting to thank our Lord? God Bless.

  43. Joanne Rowan says:

    Dear Cardinal,

    It was a wonderful prayer. Thank you for your wonderful words.

    On another matter, I do not understand the recent withdrawl of support from Paul Ryan a decent Catholic who is running with Mitt Romney.

    I’d like to know if the Council is absolutely “daft” on this recent stand against Paul Ryan. After so many years of the blatant and biased support given to the Democratic Party with their shift to Marxism and total government control, you will be personally responsible for leading souls astray.

    Shame on you for supporting a party and president that is anti-life,pro government control, and wresting religious freedoms away from it’s people. Government isn’t the “big charity machine.” Ryan’s plan will allow people to give more contributions that will be moved from the heart and not from government mandate.

    You are either naive or in bed with the devil himself with your constant pandering to the Democratic Party.

    I for one will cease contributing to bishop’s funds. I’m not well off at all, do not agree with the support of all the special interests of the Church, but am generous (only for the sake of my pastor). I’m not the only one. You will see more deficits in contributions because you are not representing the Catholic Church that Christ intended. Today’s Gospel was about Christ’s life being threatened. The collective moral decay of our Bishops announces – through your own decision in supporting Obama – continued support for the Democratic Party which in turn supports killing the young and old, homosexuality, women priests, radicalization of the Catholic Church, fornication, etc ….

    Before he was Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger stated that “The Church will become small and will have to start afresh nmore or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhavit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes … she will lose many of her social privileges.” This decision to consume one of your own in going against Paul Ryan will hasten the good Cardinal’s insight.

    You yourselves have weakened the Church by continuing to turn to the “princes” of this world.

    I can’t help wondering what kind of deal was made with this administration that made you want to “balance” the criticisms of Obama? Was it a promise for religious freedom under Obamacare? If that is the case then you and many other Catholics and non-Catholic brothers and sisters will end up being burned as we all become prisoners of a government run wild with decay.

    I can’t help but think that if Christ walked the earth today and stood before the American Conference of Catholic Bishops the end would result in the same Crucifixion.

    It should be about souls and not politics and not political amicability.

    Be the men of Christ – the Shepards’ of Christ He intended you to be.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter,

    One of the sheep in Upstate NY.

    Joanne Rowan

  44. Robert Bearer says:

    Your Excellency, this was a marvelous prayer and I thank you for it. I am praying for you this week though I have written earlier chastising you for your decision to accept the invitation to pray at the Democratic Convention this week because your appearance will serve to sanctify proceedings of a party dedicated to depriving the church’s many ministries of religious liberty, to destroy the meaning of family and personal dignity and the right to life. I continue to fear this will be the case, since even today the final, vestigal reference to God was voluntarily removed from their Platform. When you pray, will any be joining? Will any be praying? and, if so, to whom? Nevertheless, I do pray your witness will be true, firm, and uncompromising and that it will, despite my fear, bear fruit for Christ God and His Kingdom.

    rlb

  45. Joel says:

    Cardinal Dolan, when you give the benediction at Democratic convention, please clearly and explicitly defend the sanctity of unborn babies and marriage.

  46. raul vidal says:

    Dear Excellency. Every time I go to New York I make it a point to go to Mass at St. Patrick’s unfortunately I have never seen you. I am so proud to have you representing us. When you said that prayer at the convention I cried tears of joy. As a Cuban -American I was so proud to be part of this Republican movement and all it stands for. I was just a proud American ! God Bless you always and God Bless the USA, Best, Raul

  47. Gerard Peterson says:

    Cardinal Dolan, I cannot tell you how appalled I was to see a Catholic Nun play liberal politics at the democratic convention. How could she stand infront of a group of people that support abortion, same sex marriage and did not even have God in their platform. This poor excuse for a nun did not utter one word in defense of the young souls lost each of everyday.
    This was a perfect opportunity to stand up for those without a voice and she failed miserably.

    If those who represents the catholice church don’t stand up for all our values then they should no longer represent the church

  48. MaryGreene says:

    Card. Dolan, Did you watch the God/No God vote at the convention yesterday? Are you not chilled by the numbers reject God in that arena? Why not pray the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel as your closing blessing. Nov. 6 will be the next God/No God vote for the entire nation. Let’s hope Catholics, to whom much has been given, will get it right.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/democrat-platform-scraps-last-reference-to-god-calls-for-tax-funded-abortio?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=58e971ff2a-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_09_05_2012&utm_medium=email

  49. Ann McCarthy says:

    Joel, He did!

    Thank you Cardinal Dolan. Thank you!

  50. Patty says:

    Cardinal Dolan. Please know you are in my daily prayers. Thank you for the beautiful prayers given at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. May Our Precious Lord hear and answer them and move hearts.

    The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matthew 22:32), for those asking above.

    Thank you for all you do to defend and give voice to the marginalized, repressed and babies in the womb. Given for us to treasure.

    Christ’s Peace.