Vision of the Abundant Life
"THE GREAT TEACHER SAID 'I come that ye may have life and that ye may have it more abundantly! The object of all our striving should be to realize that 'abundant life.' "1 In these words, written during the first year of the New Deal, Roosevelt expressed his underlying social view. The laws that he sponsored, the agencies that he established, the political maneuvers that he devised-these were but means to the end: a more abundant life for every man, woman, and child.
Roosevelt, of course, had no patent on the phrase, "more abundant life," and he was by no means unique among politicians in favoring the idea. Calvin Coolidge, who went on the record against sin, no doubt believed in abundant living, too. It is in the specifications of the good society that Roosevelt set forth a distinctive point of view.
Of the many precedents which Roosevelt established as president, one has received less notice than it deserved. On the morning of his first inauguration, March 4, 1933, he attended special church services at St. John's with members of his family and Cabinet. He did this on successive inaugurations, as well as on special occasions-each time asking for divine guidance in the tasks ahead. The precedent had