Who Can We Blame for the Horrible State of Politics in the U.S.?
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We’ve found ourselves in quite a bit of a hot mess with the upcoming Presidential Election. The world is watching what choice American voters will make.
Will we elect a woman who has no regard for the sanctity of life and who will make it her mission to further expand abortion access? Or will we instead choose a man who has made such vulgar and degrading comments towards women that we cannot even write them here?
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Neither candidate is one that I want leading my country. Neither is a person that I would hope my son or daughter would emulate, respect and admire. What has happened to the morals and values that our country was founded on?
In typical American style, I would like to look around and find someone to blame for the awful state of politics in the United States. But, in all honesty, I must start by looking at myself.
1. I haven’t been praying.
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
There’s not too much to say about this one. I don’t pray daily for our nation’s leaders. I didn’t start praying for this election until it became such a glaring problem. I’ll admit that I’ve prayed more fervently for patience during my toddler’s potty training than I’ve prayed for a Holy man or woman of God to be the President of this country. It’s time to expand my prayer life.
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2. I haven’t been serving.
“When you are living in the land the Lord your God is giving you, there might be some poor people living among you. You must not be selfish.” – Deuteronomy 15:7-8
The last time I prayed outside of an abortion clinic was four years ago. The last time I went to serve at a soup kitchen was eight years ago. I’m pro-life and I passionately care about the needs of the poor, but I haven’t lifted a finger to serve them in way too long. I have 5 kids, but that’s just an excuse. A Christian needs to be present in the world. They will only come to know Jesus if we are Jesus to them. It’s not my government’s job to serve, it’s mine. It’s time for me to get out there and serve.
3. I haven’t invited anyone to Church.
“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.’” – Luke 14:23
I have invited people to retreats, speakers, Christian concerts, but I’ve never invited anyone to Mass. I’ve never given anyone the opportunity to be transformed by witnessing the power of the Eucharist. Maybe if more people were in the House of God, they would also be convicted (and vote with!) the same morals and values that I have… but, I’ve never even given them the chance. It’s time to stop assuming people will find the Mass boring and out-of-date and start extending an invitation to worship Our Lord.
4. I haven’t listened well enough.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19
I don’t like to listen to people whose views differ from my own. I tune them out. I start thinking of what I will say next. I want to be right. And, in doing so, I’ve turned them away because they don’t want to listen to me either. For things to change, I need to listen to and respect the voice of my proverbial neighbor. I don’t have to agree with them or believe what they say to be true, but in listening to them, I show them that they have value as a person. It’s a starting place, a posture. It’s time to peacefully sit down with those who are different from me.
5. I haven’t spoken up enough.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” – Proverbs 31:8-9
I’ve become too politically correct. In many situations, I’m afraid that standing up for what I believe will make me look like a close-minded bigot. Though I need to listen to those who are different, I also need to take a stand and share God’s truth in love. I cannot be afraid of what men will think of me. It’s time that I learn when to speak up and preach the Gospel.
It’s my fault and I repent.
I have fallen short and now I beg God to have mercy as we elect a leader for this country. I ask forgiveness for failing to pray, failing to act, failing to invite, failing to listen and failing to stand for truth and justice.
Am I the only one that has failed?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s commit together to truly make America great again. Let’s start by looking at our own lives to see what needs to be changed. It’s time for everyone that claims to be a Christian to start living like one. If we can do that, maybe the 2020 election will look much different than this one.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ― St. Catherine of Sienna
This is a powerful homily given at Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, Az on October 2nd, 2016. Fr. Lankeit provides excellent insight into issues we should be most concerned about in this election.