Saturday, October 18, 2008

Let Your Hearts Not Be Troubled...

I have been waiting for the right moment to bring up this election. Now that it is only a few weeks away, I thought it would be a worthy and timely topic of conversation. While they say that this election is one of the most important elections of our lifetime, (as if every election isn’t important), I would like to propose the reality of the situation in which we find ourselves.

Here is what we do know. One of these two candidates is going to be the next president of the United States. And one of these candidates will propose economic, social, foreign, military and governmental policies that will dictate and shape the direction of our country. If you take the next president and the policies he will propose you might either be happy with the future holds, or you might be uneasy about what is to come. In either scenario, whether we like it or not, there is something greater at play here. Let me explain.

Most readers might remember that last year I wrote about a trip I took to Poland. It was an amazing pilgrimage and there were many significant reflections I took from the experience. Perhaps the one that had the most impact on my life and vocation came upon me when I was sitting at the top of a hill at the base of the 13th Station of the Cross. I had stopped there to take a rest and absorb what was going on around me. I pulled out a book and was struck by the Catholic author George Weigel’s reflection on what happened in Poland over the course of history. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the history of Poland, during World War II, the country suffered greatly from the influence of the Nazis. After the war, they suffered from Communism). Weigel reflected on how Poland survived:

“Culture drives history over the long haul. A people in possession of its culture, a people that owns the truth about itself, has weapons of resistance that totalitarianism can’t match. People determined to live the truth of who they are, people determined to live vocationally are the most dynamic force in history.”

Wow. I was amazed. Who or what is the most dynamic force of good and change in history? Many today would probably say a strong military, thriving economy or a powerful government. Are those not the proposed answers of those running for office? Are those not the things that we all look to for security and peace? In Poland it wasn’t a particular governmental leader, or products that brought prosperity, or a powerful army either, it was a man named John Paul II who urged peace and dignity of the person. It was St. Maximillian Kolbe and St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross who died in concentration camps with joy in their hearts so others might live around them. It was St. Faustina who preached and lived the message of God’s mercy for all people. And it was countless others who worked tirelessly for the cause of goodness and peace in that country. The saints of Poland changed the course of history in the country for the better, not money, or military, or power.

People determined to live the truth of who they are, people determined live vocationally are the most dynamic force in history. Talk about that in a political speech. Bring up that in a debate! Let’s see that in a campaign advertisement or video. Let’s hear that being the answer to our social, economic and foreign challenges that we face. My friends, there is no question that we are at a pivotal point in our nation’s history. The reality of the situation is, that it does matter who we vote for. It does matter who wins this election. But what matters even more is when you and I start living as if what we do and how we live really matters.

This is no time for being worried about the future. This is not time to get nervous about who are next president will be. This is a time to start calling in the back up. This is a time to realize that if we live the truth of who we are as Sons and Daughter of Jesus, our influence and ability to light this world on fire with goodness and love will be unstoppable. The most dynamic force in history are those people who unite together as followers of Jesus Christ, knowing the truth of who they are, and live their lives as if nothing else matters.

About the election - don’t let you hearts be troubled! May the Lord’s will be done. WE KNOW WHAT MATTERS MORE. Live your vocation and that will be more than enough. Just imagine…if everyone lived like the Lord wanted them to…that kind of force would be unlike any in American history.

It is a nice thought to have - let’s make it a reality!

In Him and His Beautiful Mother,


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