- And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
- Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
- We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
- Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
- And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
- And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.
Apparently the author originally titled the composition Urbs Dei or "City of God." What are we to think of the sentiments expressed in this song? Is it morally acceptable to give to one's country such "love that asks no question, ... that lays upon the altar the dearest and the best." Is our nation to be worshipped with the sacrifices of our soldiers on the fields of battle wherever and whenever our politicians demand it?
The third stanza recognizes the call to serve another country: "most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know." The Scripture teaches us that as followers of Christ, we are "strangers and pilgrims" on the earth, or "resident aliens." We belong to another country, we serve another king.
I am increasingly conflicted about the demands and expectations of participating in the politics of modern American life. On this day, the feast day of Edith Stein, also known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, I am reminded of one who paid the ultimate sacrifice in solidarity with her people as a servant of "another country," a heavenly one. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19981011_edith_stein_en.html