In every life there is a crossover moment after which a person will never be the same again. Somewhere, somehow the challenge comes that sets us on a different path. The path of purpose. The path of integrity. The path of transcendence that lifts us—heart, mind and soul—above the pitiable level of the mundane. It is the moment at which transcending the expected, the petty, the daily, becomes more impacting, more holy-making than any amount of political success. As a culture, we may have come to that point in this culture en masse. It is a call to all of us to be our best, our least superficial, our most serious about what it means to be a Christian as well as a citizen. The system we have divided from itself must be put together or we may never really be One, be united as a people, again.
May we be one out of many.
It is seventeen days before our national election. Reflect on what it means to be a Christian as well as a citizen. Reflect that this is not a competition with an “our team against your team” mentality. This is about choosing what is best for a divided nation. It is not a competition for entertainment. It is a serious choice for the common good. Honestly consider the basis for your own decisions.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.
Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good. I cannot wash my hands. We all have to give something! A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of him or herself, so that those who govern can govern.
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
President John Quincy Adams.
Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.
President Thomas Jefferson
Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world. And the imperative to vote is genuinely nonpartisan.
The continuing health and vigor of our democratic system depends on the public spirit and devotion of its citizens which find expression in the ballot box.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Every voter ought not merely to vote, but to vote under the inspiration of a high purpose to serve the nation.
President Calvin Coolidge
Voter apathy is civic abdication.
Charles M. Blow
The job facing American voters… in the days and years to come is to determine which hearts, minds and souls command those qualities best suited to unify a country rather than further divide it, to heal the wounds of a nation as opposed to aggravate its injuries, and to secure for the next generation a legacy of choices based on informed awareness rather than one of reactions based on unknowing fear.
Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.
President James Garfield
Prayer before the Election
God of all, in this year of election, in these days of discernment, ignite us with the fire of your love. Enflame our hearts with courage to embrace dialogue that transforms and truth that frees. Kindle our love with kindness to heal divisions and reconcile relationships. Light our imaginations with insight to envision and create a world where all are one. Stir our actions with justice and peace to engage critical concerns and cherish all of life. Fire our lives with audacity and hope to risk all for God’s mission.
Roxanne Schares, SSND