Recently, I came across this passage, part of a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, written 148 years ago today. It is truly appropriate for the season of Lent:
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven.
We have been, these many years, preserved in peace and prosperity.
We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no nation has ever grown,
but we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace
and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us.
We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts,
that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient
to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace,
too proud to pray to the God who made us."
~President Abraham Lincoln
Proclamation appointing a National Fast Day