I had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds praised most, while the cranks, misfits, and malcontents praised least. The good critics found something to praise in many imperfect works; the bad ones continually narrowed the list of books we might be allowed to read.
Gracious God, our peace and reconciliation: protect, sustain, and illuminate the soul of our President-elect, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Lead him in the paths of humility and charity. Keep far from him any thought or deed that would oppose your gracious love or imperil the common good. Bless him with the gifts of wisdom, understanding, fortitude, and reverence. May he and Vice President-elect Harris, and indeed all who govern us, perform their duties with compassion, tolerance, prudence, and an abiding respect for human dignity, diversity, and liberty. And make all citizens of this nation instruments of your peace. Amid despair, amid darkness, amid hatred, let us be channels of hope, of light, and of human kindness. Amen.