Beyond the Election

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Part 6 — Vigilance and Reconciliation

Following is the last in a six-part series by Bishop Paul S. Loverde on forming our consciences as Catholics prior to the November presidential election.

"In recent months we have seen how anger and fear have divided us. Our future must be one marked by respect and unity if we are to be a people worthy of the legacy of freedom and justice we have inherited from our ancestors."

On November 9, 2016, many Americans will be joyful that their candidate has been elected; others will be bitter because their candidate has lost; still others will be indifferent because they are not interested in (or they are alienated from) the political process in our country.

No matter who is elected president, as faithful Catholics and engaged citizens we must awake on November 9 committed to vigilance and reconciliation.

First of all we must be vigilant. We will continue to remain ever alert to all threats to human life, to the truth about marriage and the authentic meaning of human sexuality, and to human dignity, especially threats to restrict religious liberty, our first freedom.

Secondly, we must be committed to promoting reconciliation among members of families, friends, co-workers and fellow parishioners. Too often, the recent political divisions in our country have manifested themselves in these most important relationships.

Also, there needs to be reconciliation among members of different political parties who must overcome partisan divisions and work together to promote the common good of all people in our society. Yes, there needs to be reconciliation that leads to healing among all citizens in our country.

In recent months we have seen how anger and fear have divided us. Our future must be one marked by respect and unity if we are to be a people worthy of the legacy of freedom and justice we have inherited from our ancestors.

A recurring theme in this series of articles has been a plea for prayer and fasting.

In anticipation of the election, I encouraged the recitation of the novena prayer to Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States. Going forward, let us continue to offer this prayer, the Rosary, and the petitions in the General Intercessions at Mass for our country.

I also invite you to join me in the voluntary practice of fasting, especially the weekly abstinence from meat on Fridays and other forms of self-denial, like the “digital fast”, as an offering for the welfare of our nation.

No matter who is the winner of the election on November 8, as Catholics, we will be leaders November 9, if, by our commitment to vigilance and to reconciliation, we help foster the goal of making our country One Nation under God!

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016

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