How will you choose love?
How do we move past this daily turmoil so heavily focused on politics, proving one side is right and the other side is wrong? Now that January 20 has rolled around and there’s a new family living in the White House, how do we as ordinary Catholic citizens move forward?
How do I move forward? Do I argue with people who voted differently than me? Do I turn my back on people I disagree with? Do I look to the news media, social media, or people in political leadership positions for guidance?
Do I move forward, each day, choosing to love instead of holding on to resentment, bitterness, anger, jealousy, etc.?
At first, I thought I needed to forgive the “other side” for their voting record, for their verbal, social and financial support of one man. But no one needs my forgiveness, and it is not my place to pardon and forgive. My vocation as a Catholic is to bring anyone and everyone closer to knowing Jesus, to bring people the peace and grace of Jesus, and to share the Truth with them.
The following is from a Facebook friend:
“But when is it important to be mad to fuel outrage and DO something? I feel paralyzed and I’m so sick of not doing something. I feel like I need a list of goals or something tangible. We need healing. We need resurgence. I just can’t feel calm yet.... I’m unsettled, and I’m glad I am. I think we need to be in times such as these, and fight for what’s right.”
I think this friend captures how a lot of us are feeling. As you can see, she is unsure of how to move forward. She wants to fight for what is right, but who are we allowing to tell us what is right and what is wrong? She speaks of resurgence and healing, two things that are connected but can also be separate. There is a change in leadership, so for many, a resurgence has already begun. For the other half, they are still hurt, confused, disappointed, and feeling like they are being lied to. Everyone feels like they need to have an opinion and yet no one is being heard. Neighbors are not listening to neighbors. Communities are divided and people are not receiving the respect they deserve as a human being.
In 2004, a professor at the seminary warned his students studying to become priests that one of the biggest challenges they would face as American priests was that American politics would overtake all discussions. His warning is now painfully true and unfortunately obvious. Every time we argue with someone about politics in hurtful and disrespectful tones, every time we choose our own self-interest over the interests of our brothers and sisters, and every time we choose matters of this world over our faith in Christ, the devil gains more power in our lives. The devil weakens us, laughs at our division, mocks us and celebrates our discord.
How many of us are waking up each day and checking the news before we think to thank God for another day of life? How many of us are turning to social media and our echo chamber instead of turning to scripture? How many of us are spending hours each day talking or thinking about politics, politicians, and violence but only sparing a few moments to talk and
think about our relationship with Jesus? I am guilty of picking up my phone first in the morning instead of my bible. I am guilty of thinking about the political violence instead of turning toward God. I am guilty of thinking that any human on this planet has any of the answers instead of asking God for His answers.
How do we move forward? How do I move forward? I am going to move forward by going to mass on Sundays and going to daily mass on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Instead of sitting by my kids’ beds on my phone, waiting for them to fall asleep, I am going to pray a rosary (it’s already proving more effective). I am going to offer a faithful environment for my kids to cultivate a desire for a deep faith in God. I am going to raise my kids to be strong, brave and resilient so that when they are adults, they can impact their communities in powerful and loving ways, rooted in love of God and neighbor.
Please share in the comments how you are feeling, how you are moving forward or struggling to move forward, and your ideas for cultivating a strong faith in these tumultuous times.
Litany of Trust.
From the belief that I have to earn Your love. Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that I am unlovable. Deliver me, Jesus.
From the false security that I have what it takes. Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that trusting You will leave me more destitute. Deliver me, Jesus.
From all suspicion of Your words and promises. Deliver me, Jesus.
From the rebellion against childlike dependency on. You Deliver me, Jesus.
From refusals and reluctances in accepting Your will. Deliver me, Jesus.
From anxiety about the future. Deliver me, Jesus.
From resentment or excessive preoccupation with the past. Deliver me, Jesus.
From restless self-seeking in the present moment. Deliver me, Jesus.
From disbelief in Your love and presence. Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being asked to give more than I have. Deliver me, Jesus.
From the belief that my life has no meaning or worth. Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of what love demands Deliver me, Jesus. From discouragement. Deliver me, Jesus.
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