Pope Francis “tweeted” the following statement about prayer a couple years ago:
“The one who listens attentively to the word of God and truly prays always ask the Lord: what is your will for me?” -Twitter, May 19, 2014
Prayer is Uniting with God
Wherever we are on the path of spirituality, prayer is a gift from God. Since He has created every single human, we all can use prayer as a means to find answers about decisions in life, even in deciding on candidates in an election process. Prayer is a combination of conversation with the Lord and of listening to Him. As Catholics, we thank Jesus Christ for the profound gift of His presence as we quiet our minds and hearts to be with Him. Incredibly, we can talk to and listen to God for whatever we may need since being with God is our true destiny. The conversations we have with Him offer us fulfillment. It’s wonderful knowing someone much greater than us can guide us in our decisions. In the process of praying, we know in our hearts God has not forgotten us even in the midst of our indecision and confusion. We can offer our quiet prayers to God to bring peace to every piece of news we hear about our country, especially in light of the upcoming election.
There are many points to consider in an election. I will not detail all of these issues. The subject of the “economy” during an election process is usually at front and center. Issues such as health care coverage, safety in our country, education, good job opportunities and more are discussed. All are important. People will weigh each point in different ways depending on demographic factors. However, the most important and fundamental points are always those which continue to protect our freedom as Americans. For all who believe in human rights and the “natural law”, we are asked to consider those who are most vulnerable in our society: the elderly, sick, disabled, those without homes, families or support systems, and of great importance, the unborn. People who are not able to speak for themselves have a special place in our hearts when it comes to our voting decisions. As people of faith, we call on the Holy Spirit to give us God’s perspective that every human life that has been created has a place in this world beginning at conception until natural death. This is a protection for all of us since safeguarding lives and loving all people is God’s wish. He loves every individual person no matter what. His love is endless for his creation regardless of anything that separates us, including religion, political views, race, sex or lifestyle. His hope is that we can offer the same care for others as he does for us.
Being Kind when Voicing our Opinions
When we watch television, read news reports or discuss politics and the presidential election with our family and our friends, we may tend to view the issues from a distant perspective. Perhaps many of us do not have full knowledge of every issue or have personal experiences with the tough parts of life people go through. Our greatest impact in this world will come through our daily interactions and those we see on a more frequent basis. Sometimes in focusing on the broader aspects of life such as politics, we miss what is in front of us and our mission. The gift of life and making a difference starts with our own hearts and in exercising the virtues of our faith. This is how we bring peace to others and to the world.
In the world of social media, it’s sad how our views on politics and other opinions on life are used mostly as a way to alienate and separate us from our family, friends, and peers. Perhaps the best we can do is live our lives full of hope, joy, and love by “building bridges” with our peers on the things that bind us together and not those issues that separate us politically. Pope Francis has been praying for all of us in this “Year of Mercy” that the love of Christ and our own prayers we will be bound together in peace with God as our guide. We must believe that the love of God through prayer and respect for others that God will guide all of our ways.
It is no coincidence that our Holy Father has chosen 2015-16 as the “Year of Mercy”. Mercy is God’s way of inviting us all under the same umbrella to celebrate what is most important in our lives and in His love. As humans, we all undergo suffering, challenges, loneliness, isolation, and sadness. We also celebrate together a lot of joy and happiness. The mercy of Jesus Christ is the answer to the problems we encounter as a country. This mercy is available to everyone, not just Catholics and Christians. As Catholics, we are fortunate to have living gifts in the Sacraments of the Church which offer us even more of God’s mercy. God wishes for all of his people to unite in this love. With the love of God and in prayer, we will be on the path to healing our nation, our world and our individual lives. Following on the path of mercy with the Lord He will lead us to eternal happiness with Him one day in Heaven at the end of our lives. We find His mercy and love within His Will for all of us.
Decisions on the Election
With prayer and careful thought, we will make the right decisions when we vote in this presidential election. As our Holy Father stated in his meditation with the “Word of God and in asking him for his help” we will find His Will. The answer we receive in prayer may not feel like definite assurance for our hearts, but in coming closer to Him in prayer we will find our rest. In the quiet moments of alone-time during our prayer, we will be moved in one way or the other in our process of deciding on the important issues of life. It is then that we will have peace to whatever outcomes are ahead for our country and for our individual lives. Be blessed in Him.