Abraham and Integrity

Friday, February 12, 2016

 Abraham and Integrity
Feb 12, 1809
Birth of Abraham Lincoln

These are some words of Abraham Lincoln:
“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.”

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

“Some things that are legally right are not necessarily morally right.”

“Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

And this is a story from his life

In 1865, a Richmond woman came to Lincoln to complain of the damage to her house.  She demanded that the government give her an award of restitution and relief.  Lincoln told her it was Virginia that had seceded and initiate the war.  He then added, “This reminds me of the man who murdered his parents and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.”

There are many things that contribute to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln .He wrote his own speeches that were masterpieces but also contained lively and interesting popular remarks.  He was a politician and a lawyer, both careers that, in our day, are not known for their honesty. His greatest legacy is his integrity.

The Old Testament reading for the liturgy today talks about the integrity of fasting. The people of Isaiah’s time pray to God “Why do we fast, and you do not see it?   Afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?”   The answer was that “you carry out your own pursuits”…your fast ends in quarreling and fighting, striking with wicked claw.”    They are told that fasting with integrity means “releasing those bound unjustly, ..;  setting free the oppressed…sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and homeless; clothing the naked and not turning your back on your own.” 

As we live through lent in this Year of Mercy, we might want to think about what our prayer, almsgiving and fasting is asking of us and what we can do to express our faith with integrity.

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