To say that 2020 has been an unusual year is an understatement. We have been challenged on all sides and I see no signs of that challenge being abated. The ‘facts of life’ as we experience them today will be with us for untold days to come.
America is racing toward an election the importance of which is epic, if not of “Biblical proportion”. For the Christian, it’s even more important. The Father’s will; how are we to know what that is? It’s very important that each American keep themselves informed of the platforms of the two warring Parties – know what they mean and what they mean for the country. But larger and more importantly – most importantly – what is God’s will?
In Psalm 40 we read, “I delight to do thy will, O my God; …”; 143:10 states “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: … “. The Lord’s Prayer – “… Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” St. Matthew’s Gospel speaks to us in this way: Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” No less than Jesus Himself prays, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (St. Luke 22:42)
To the best of my knowledge, nowhere in the Bible is there a verse, to the effect of, “Whenest thou meet contentious factions in voting, God’s will is that you …” I know; we’re supposed to figure it out for ourselves, like our salvation, with fear and trembling. I’ve got the fear; I’ve got the trembling – now what? I’m responsible for my day to day living and how I think and act toward the world and my neighbor. That alone seems overwhelming some days. How am I to do His will in this special circumstance? How am I to be ‘in right standing’ with the Lord when there are seven million opinions to one question? How do I please God – which is the right answer?
We do have some fall-back information to support our decisions. The Bible is our Owner’s manual. It has suggestions – and commands – regarding the best way to live and the best way to move forward. The dogma and doctrines of the (one) Church; the early Church Fathers; the Doctors of the Church, and those holy men of God we go to in times of need – our priests and bishops.
Even with all that, I find my prayer being, “Dear God, heavenly Father, I hope it is in Your will that … “
I am so grateful that in this country politics and religion are kept apart, and I feel for you. I thought it was pretty ghastly here at the last election when we had a choice between a communist idiot and a buffoon who, when last seen, was messing everything up. Neither appealed to me so I voted otherwise. I have no idea what I should do were I an American. On the one had a senile old fool who is clearly a tool of the far left, and on the other a braggart and “pussy-grabber” who will at least not fill the Supreme Court with abortionists. Guess I’d end up holding my nose and voting against abortion on demand – but golly, not easy.
You are right, of course, our conscience as a Christian can only try to guide us. Good post.
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In Catholic-speak there is a whole category called ‘prudential judgement.’ No one when exercising it can be infallible because it is an application of the things which we may know- moral values, dogmatic truths- to the events of today, which we can only ever know in part, and a best guess about the events of tomorrow, about which we know less than nothing. So, it’s never a sin to make a completely erroneous judgement provided that the reasons for that judgement flow from, and are entirely compatible with, a well formed Christian conscience.
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