November 3, 2013
Vote Like a Catholic. This Tuesday, November 5, Virginians go to the polls to elect our state and local officials, including our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Delegates. Sadly, many, including many Catholics, will vote for candidates who embrace abortion, “gay marriage” and the undermining of religious liberty, and many others will stay home and not vote at all.
It is our moral duty, as Christians, to vote, and I encourage all of you to do so on Tuesday, and to vote like the faithful Catholics you are. And I also encourage you to pray for the good of the Commonwealth, especially by joining in our Novena to St. Thomas More.
The following are some quotes that I think will be helpful as you prepare to vote. (Note: for lack of space I am only quoting each in part).
Pope Calls Faithful to Participate Actively in Politics
by Catholic News Agency – Lauren Cate, September 17, 2013 (in part)
…In his Sept. 16 daily homily at St. Martha House, the Pope rejected the idea that “a good Catholic doesn’t meddle in politics.” “That’s not true. That is not a good path,” he said, according to Vatican Radio. “A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern.”
“None of us can say, ‘I have nothing to do with this; they govern,’” Pope Francis told those present for the Mass. Rather, citizens are responsible for participating in politics according to their ability, and in this way, they are responsible for their leadership.
“Politics, according to the social doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good,” he explained. “I cannot wash my hands, eh? We all have to give something!”
He noted that it is sometimes common for people to speak only critically of their leaders, to complain about “things that don’t go well.” Instead of simply complaining, we should offer ourselves — our ideas, our suggestions and, most of all, our prayers, the Holy Father said.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (2239-2240)
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…
Homily of Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis), Archbishop of Buenos Aires, In a Homily August 31, 2005.
When one listens to what Jesus says: Look, “I send you, I send you like sheep amongst the wolves,” one wants to ask: “Lord, are you joking, or do not have a better place to send us?” Because what Jesus says is a little chilling: “if you proclaim my message, they are going to persecute you, they are going to slander you, they are going to set traps to deliver you to the courts and to have you killed. But you must continue forward. For that reason, take care, Jesus says, and be astute, be clever like the serpent but very simple like doves,” joining the two things.
The Christian cannot allow himself the luxury to be an idiot, that’s clear. We don’t have the luxury to be fools because we have a very beautiful message of life and we’re not permitted to be fools. For that reason, Jesus says, “Be astute, be careful.” What is the astuteness of the Christian? In knowing how to discern who is a wolf and who is a sheep.
And when, during this celebration of life, a wolf disguises himself as a sheep, it’s knowing how to smell him. “Look, you have the skin of a sheep but the smell of a wolf.” And this, this mandate that Jesus gives us is very important. It’s for something very great. Jesus tells us something that attracts our attention, when someone asks him: “well, why did you come into the world?” “Look, I come to bring life and for that life to be in abundance, and I am sending you so that you can advance that life, and so that it will be abundant”…
I was reading a book a while back, where this disturbing phrase was found: “In the world of today, the cheapest thing is life, what costs the least is life” — which is, therefore, the most disregarded thing, the most dispensable thing…
This child who is on the way is a bother to the family. “Oh no, for what? I have no idea. Let’s discard him and return him to the sender.” …
That’s what the culture of death preaches. It’s not interested in life. What interests it? Egoism. One is interested in surviving, but not in giving life, caring for life, offering life…
Open your heart to life! …How beautiful is caring for life, allowing life to grow, to give life like Jesus, and to give it abundantly, not to permit that even one of these smallest ones be lost. ….And we care for life, because He cares for our life from the womb. We have it in the motto for this year: “From the womb you were our protector.” He cares for us and he teaches us that.
We (modern society) don’t care for life. Because there is an ethical order of caring for life, we simply care for life. Jesus teaches us to care for life because it is the image of God, who is absolute life. We cannot announce anything else but life, and from the beginning to the end. All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth.
But it is a road that is full of wolves, and perhaps for that reason they might bring us to the courts, perhaps, for that reason, for caring for life they might kill us. We should think about the Christian martyrs. They killed them for preaching this Gospel of life, this Gospel that Jesus brought. But Jesus gives us the strength. Go forth! Don’t be fools, remember, a Christian doesn’t have the luxury of being foolish, I’m not going to repeat, an idiot, a fool, he can’t give himself the luxury. He has to be clever, he has to be astute, to carry this out.
Oremus pro invicem, et pro Virginiae. Fr. De Celles