Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
So says the Psalmist today, and I think these words are encouraging ones. Here we stand, finally, on election day, in the midst of another rancorous and in many ways, disheartening, campaign season. Now all the sound bytes and debates and campaign ads and news stories coalesce into the cornerstone of our democracy: your vote and mine.
We Catholics are required by our faith to participate in this democratic process. The Catechism tells us: It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.
Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2239-2240)
Every one of our voices matter, and so we are required to vote even when we think we’re just one person. It is up to us to stand up for what’s right: to defend the sanctity of life, to advocate for the poor, and generally to build up a society in which all people of good will can grow in their faith while they await their turn to move to that place in heaven that God has prepared for us.
I understand when people say, this year, it’s all too depressing. But the Psalmist’s reminder is a good one: The just shall possess the land / and dwell in it forever. God is in control, and he’s using you and me to make his message known.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Mother Mary, patroness of the United States of America, pray for us.