As I write this article on the eve of a momentous election day, I am reminded how important our faith is to our daily lives. Especially in these unprecedented days of lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings, it is critical that we come together in a spirit of humility and charity.
It is my fervent hope that by the time this issue of The Colorado Catholic Herald reaches you, we will know who our president will be for the next four years, and there will be calls from all sides for peace and civility. Even if the election results are not conclusive by the end of this week, it will be more important than ever for us to remain united in our faith. Let me be one of the first to remind you that we are Catholics first, families second, Americans third, and members of a political party much further down the scale.
Pope Benedict reminded us in his first encyclical that God is love. It is only through the grace of God’s love that each of us can put aside our partisan differences and be reunited with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Nov. 2 was also the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day). In the Liturgy of the Hours for this day, we read the words of St. Ambrose, the fifth-century Bishop of Milan. He reflects on the death of his brother Satyrus, and reminds us that “the soul has to turn away from the aimless paths of this life . . . ; it must reach out to those assemblies in heaven . . . to sing the praises of God.” Let us reach out to our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing to God at their passing from this life, and join our prayers to theirs for the Church and our country.
By keeping our eyes fixed firmly on Christ, we are reminded that we are travelers in this world but destined for eternal life in heaven. The trials and tribulations of this world are permitted in order to strengthen and prepare us for reunion with God. This is a journey that we make together, regardless of our race, gender, or political ideology. The words of Benjamin Franklin, spoken in a different context, seem appropriate now: We must all hang together, or we will most assuredly hang separately.
Before being led to his cross, Jesus prayed with his disciples, “may they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” I pray that even if our country remains divided, Christians may come together as one Body in Christ, demonstrating to the world that we can disagree on many things in this world, provided we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the cross and Christ’s love for us all.
Remember — no politician or statesman is our savior. Only the Lord Jesus is our Savior. And he will never abandon us.
May God bless all those who have been elected to lead and protect us, and let us pray for them.