February 12

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

 Reflection

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations”(President Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865). As we look at ourselves now, our nation is desperately in need of Lincoln’s wisdom and reconciling spirit.

 Prayer

 May I and all Americans, especially those who are elected leaders, think and act with integrity and unity.

Action

What can you do to help bring about the healing necessary in our fractured political system and our divided nation? If you have not seen the film Lincoln, take the time to do it.

 Suggested Reading

Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children God who makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 3:43-45

For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.
2 Corinthians 8:21

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
Albert Einstein

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
Abraham Lincoln

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
Abraham Lincoln

Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it, “all men are created equal except negroes.” When the Know-nothings get control, it will read, “all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.” When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty–to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
Abraham Lincoln

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