An election year thought
Throughout Advent, we hear the message loud and clear: “Prepare the way of the Lord!” The Church calls us to prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming — not just his coming as our Savior, born 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem — but for his coming anew into our hearts during Advent, for his second coming in glory, and for the moment we leave this life and see Him face-to-face.
But how do we prepare our hearts for Christ when we’re living with a difficult economy in a secular world that cares little or nothing for Judeo-Christian spirituality? Saint Augustine had some advice for us: “The times are bad! The times are troublesome!” This is what humans say. But we are our times. Let us live well and our times will be good. Such as we are, such are our times.
Augustine’s point is simple: Live your faith and you will be a bright light in dark times. But living our Catholic faith in the world seems to be getting more and more difficult, especially when many our fellow Catholics seem to have abandoned themselves to a secular worldview. In November, 54% of Catholics voted for the most radically pro-abortion presidential candidate in American history despite the urging of more than 50 bishops to support pro-life candidates. Among those who go to Mass every Sunday, however, Sen. John McCain captured 55% of the vote.
Exit polls indicate that even many faithful Catholics chose Presidentelect Barack Obama because they believe he can do a better job of rebuilding the American economy. What they failed to recognize at the voting booth is that Obama has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), legislation that would eliminate virtually every pro-life law and policy in the country. Funding limitations, informed consent, parental notification, clinic health/safety regulations, conscience protections for healthcare providers and hospitals — all would end under FOCA. Times are indeed difficult when even the faithful put the economy ahead of the lives of the unborn.
The new political climate requires that faithful Catholics be engaged like never before to demand that all human life be respected. Despite the tidal wave of new abortions that will follow his signing FOCA, President-elect Obama has pledged to help reduce the number of abortions and help women with unplanned pregnancies who choose to keep their babies. As one of my friends rightly stated: “He works for us now.” It’s our job to keep him accountable to the electorate.
It’s also our job to study, live and spread our faith. The Legatus mission has never been so relevant. The more we know our faith, the more we immerse ourselves in the wisdom of the Church, and the more we prepare a place in our hearts for the Lord, the bigger impact we will have on our families, our parishes, our communities, our nation and our world.
Patrick Novecosky is the editor of Legatus Magazine.