In all of my life, I’ve never seen our nation split like it was this time around; there was a lot at stake. The unborn, the economy, foreign policy…you know the deal. A lot of discernment, a lot of responsibility.
I deliberately waited a few days to write about the outcome. I’m a crock pot of a thinker, not a microwave, and it takes me time to process. I was initially afraid, initially worried, initially a little angry; the division of Catholics was (and is) personally very painful for me, like I know it is for a lot of people.
But God has given me a tremendous grace and insight. It is not Catholic to be afraid (“the Lord is not the spirit of fear”), nor is it Catholic to worry, as it robs us of our trust in God. There is such a thing as righteous anger, though…I don’t know if I had a righteous anger or a prideful one; I need to pray on that some more and listen for God’s voice to guide me.
What hit me last night as I was driving home, is that no matter the result, this is God’s America, God’s election, God’s president-elect, God’s ways and God’s thoughts in action. Brothers and Sisters! He either ordained or allowed the election of Barack Obama. In that truth alone, we have complete confidence to continue forward in faith.
This does not mean that I give the President-elect any sort of pass whatsoever on the grave evils that he endorses, such as the Freedom of Choice Act. Please, do not misunderstand me. What I am saying, however, is that as Catholics, we are called by God to love Barack Obama, child of God, with the genuine Light of Christ in our eyes and in our hearts. “Love thy enemies”. Scripture doesn’t say “tolerate thy enemies,” it says “love”. What does it mean to love? Padre Pio rightly observed that “the proof of love is to suffer for the one you love.” As Christ hung on the Cross, nails piercing His hands and feet, dying, He loved both of the men to either side of Him; one chose to respond to that love, the other scorned and rejected it. By the grace of God, I choose to love.
It is not enough to pray novenas and rosaries for our future 44th President to change his mind on life issues. We must never accept any grave evil that he promotes, but we must anchor our prayers in the genuine love of God for our fellow man, for the good of this man and our nation herself.
It is not Catholic to hate; it is the very foundation of our Catholic identity to love our enemies as Christ does. It’s at this point that we find ourselves at the fork in the road: one path is wide and easy, while the other is rocky, narrow and uncertain, but bathed in love. What path will each of us choose? The one lined with prayers based in anger, sorrow, fear and mistrust, or prayers of genuine faithful love and hope?
St. Dismas, pray for us.