I have been musing a great deal about the state of our country and our culture. The recent election results were heartbreaking for anyone who holds to the Catholic principles of human dignity, the sanctity of life, subsidiarity and solidarity, and the defense of marriage as between one man and one woman. But I had a little epiphany the other day and I want to see what you think.
President Obama's agenda discards the most vulnerable--the unborn, the elderly, the disabled. His health care plan relies on utilitarian ethics to save money. He promotes abortion as a good thing and asserts that women cannot succeed unless they thwart their feminine physiology. He usurps the authority of religious leaders to delineate the essential tenets of their faith. He usurps the rights of parents to make educational and health care decisions for their children. He rejects the uniqueness of marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman. The fact that our country elected a president who pursues such a radical agenda means that the United States is really a mission territory. There are many hearts and souls that need conversion. And I do not mean they need conversion to the Republican party. They need conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We cannot bring about the Kingdom of God through politics. That does not mean that it was wrong or fruitless to have worked tirelessly to support leadership that would be more in line with our principles. But political power reflects the culture more than it changes the culture. We cannot be victorious at the ballot box until we are victorious in the culture war. And we are at war. However, this war will not be won through violence. It will be won through prayer, through evangelization, and through love.
Now think about it. When has God ever used a person or a group of people who were rich and powerful when He needed to effect a major change? Abraham, Moses, David, John the Baptist, the Apostles, and Jesus Christ Himself? One of the most powerful aspects of the evangelization of the Apostles is that they persisted in their message after the Ascension even though doing so led them to their deaths. So that is where we are. Are we willing to persist in the Good News, in Catholic principles, even if it means a degradation in our public standing and power? Are we willing to suffer insults, discrimination, and persecution for the sake of the Gospel? Are we ready to give our lives for our faith? If we can answer yes to these questions, then the impact of our evangelization will be multiplied. Perhaps our culture is not ready to hear the Truth from those protected by positions of power. They must first hear it from those who proclaim it in spite of the personal costs.
We prayed our Rosaries, novenas, and prayers of supplication for the defeat of the Culture of Death at the ballot box. God answered our prayers. He said, "No." Or at least He said, "Not yet."
The Psalmist said:
Put no trust in princes,
in children of Adam powerless to save. (Ps 146:3)
So now our job is not to start grooming a candidate or platform to woo the voters in 2016. Our mission is the same as it was on November 5: to pray without ceasing, to love God with all our hearts and minds, and to lover our neighbor as ourself. We must commit ourselves to both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy--feeding the hungry and instructing the ignorant. Future elections may provide a crude metric of our success, but as Mother Teresa said, we are not called to be successful, but to be faithful. With God's help and grace, we may someday look at our culture and find that it reflects the Gospel. Only then will there be a chance that we might elect a leader of righteousness and virtue.