This email arrived today, written by a friend in Northern California. The tone cut through all the rhetoric and cacophony and cut straight to the heart of the matter. She has given me permission to offer her words here.

The day after Independence Day – another year in the life of our country, and if we think of our country as a house we have built, it is now rattling and shaking in a perilous storm.

I think of Psalm 127, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders build in vain.” Isn’t this the truth! Much of it, perhaps most of it we did build with Him, but there are foundational errors that need correcting.

I think of a line from ” America the Beautiful”, ” Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.” What an apt prayer for this time.

When I was in my early teens I made a promise to myself that every 4th of July I would spend a few minutes that night alone outdoors by myself. I can’t recall exactly what that was about. I couldn’t quite articulate even then the desire I was feeling, but I think it was listening and thanking and connecting to what was good. Those were the years I had lost my faith in God, but the longings were still there.

Many, many people, I think, are like that today. We have so much to be praying for, that we can pray, alone and together, for all the challenges ahead. As we lean on the “cornerstone” of our “house”, which I want to remember is not just our country, but the world. And that cornerstone is more safe and sure because it is the loving heart of God. Because of that truth, we have hope.

One more Psalm,126:6, “He ( or she) who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy.” Think about that. We may go out weeping, but we are carrying holy seed.

One more line from one more song, written in a time when our “house” was shaking more than it is now, “… be swift my soul to answer Him, be jubilant my feet.” Think about that with faith with hope, and with love.

That last line was from “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, Julia Ward Howe.

I have blabbed it all over but in case you missed The News of the Week, my Angelus column has won #1 Regular Arts and Culture Column 2020 from the Catholic Press Association!

So that’s really nice.

I am trying to ramp up my social media presence (which is currently at approx zero) a bit so if anyone would like to help me out, feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel and/or instagram.



  1. Elizabeth Acciani says: Reply

    I love your friend’s words, especially her quotes from those songs. I sat outside on July 4 with my husband and our friend and we sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic, then This Land is Your Land, then listened to Ray Charles sing America the Beautiful. That was the best moment of the day.
    But the real news here is your award. Your Angelus article is a gift to all of us. You find the most interesting and sometimes obscure California treasures, and then reveal them in a way that makes me wish I’d been there with you. I’m happy it is recognized by the Catholic Press Association. Congratulations!

  2. Lisa Porter says: Reply

    Congratulations on your well-deserved award! Your Angelus columns are wonderful!

  3. Ron Lewberg says: Reply

    Congratulations on your Angelus award. You certainly deserve it. Just a quick note to an above comment. I think Ray Charles, hands down, sings the best rendition of America the Beautiful,

  4. HEATHER KING says: Reply

    Whoa, thank you so much, people. It’s lovely to be recognized, all and I mean ALL glory to God. My next-door apt neighbor, born and raised in Venezuela, on July 4 texted me a big stars and stripes meme and “God bless America”–it was good to be reminded that people regularly die trying to make their way here. Would like to keep myself in fit spiritual/emotional state to welcome them, and to share what I have learned to love about this little corner of “our common home,” as Pope Francis called the world.

  5. HEATHER KING says: Reply

    Oh, plus, Ray Charles: yes.


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