For the past few years, our family has joined numerous
others from our parish and surrounding churches for Life Chain, an hour of
silent public prayer for an end to the evil of abortion in our country. We
spread out along Highway 19 between the parish school and Middle School West
and stand facing the road, holding signs and praying.
On the back of the signs are suggested hymns, prayers, and
petitions to guide our personal reflection during that hour. Every year, I am
taken aback by the petition that asks me to pray for God’s mercy for all I have
failed to do to protect life and work for an end to abortion—because every
year, I am convinced I could have done more.
Now we are two weeks out from electing a new president. Most
of us have likely made up our minds how we will vote—guided, I hope, by reason
and a well-formed conscience. God
willing, no Catholic will cast a vote in support of abortion or its proponents.
Beyond that, faithful Catholics can and do disagree on how best to combat the
evils in our society by our actions at the ballot box. With that in mind, I
would like to share three thoughts about the aftermath of Election Day.
First, remember the words of St. Therese of Lisieux: “The
world is thy ship and not thy home.” We are a pilgrim people, and although our
country is great and worth fighting for, the kingdom to which we truly belong
is not here. We are called to evangelize and make disciples; to deny ourselves,
take up our cross, and follow Jesus. The outcome of this election will not
change our mission.
Second, we are all
called by God—and not one of us is worth less in His eyes because of the votes
we’ve cast, the mistakes we’ve made, or the sins we’ve committed. Whatever
happens on November 8th, we will continue to suffer for our faith, as Christ
foretold, and our nation and world will continue to need our light, our
service, our faithful example. Cast your vote on Tuesday and move on, because
we must pull together as one body, one spirit, in Christ.
Finally, we have no time to waste. Too often our efforts on
behalf of the unborn, marriage, freedom of conscience, or religious liberty
hinge on the headlines and reach a fever pitch every four years with the
election of a new president. We support particular candidates or policies; we
act as though everything is riding on the results of the next election, then
shake our heads when nothing changes and go back to minding our own business.
What about the roughly 1,460 days between presidential
As Catholics, our opposition to abortion and the other great
evils of our time is not primarily about saving lives, but about saving
souls—including our own. Obedience to Christ and His Church is a daily choice.
Disobedience is also a choice. So is complacency and non-action.
Every moment, God calls; every moment we respond. Our
eternity begins now.
Lord, have mercy on me for all have failed to do here in my own
community to draw people to you and build your kingdom. Amen.
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