A Prayer for Independence Day

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

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I love New York

I’ve lived in New York City for two months.

Not enough time to know anything about it. Except this:

New York is freedom.

Freedom to be myself. Freedom to be honest with myself and with the world.

Freedom to love. Freedom to be loved.

I don’t know how to convey the enormity of that. I don’t have the vocabulary. I don’t think the vocabulary exists.

Love is the most basic element of humanity. It makes life worthwhile. The feeling of freedom to love should be easy to convey.

But I can’t express its intoxicating sublimity, its ineffable exquisiteness.

Until I first felt that freedom last fall, I could not have imagined it. If one has never had that freedom, one can long for it, but one can not imagine it.

If one has always had that freedom, one can not imagine how it is to have it for the first time. It’s the very air one breathes.

The joy of that freedom is, literally, inexpressible.

I was almost 35 years old when I first came to New York. I visited my Love for a weekend. I floated through the weekend in an ecstatic haze. I could hardly breathe with the enormity of it.

I could hold her hand. I could smile at her. Right in front of God and everybody.