To work for liberty and justice

USCCB prayer for our country after an election

God of all nations,
Father of the human family,
we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise
and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy
in these United States of America. 

We ask for your protection and guidance
for all who devote themselves to the common good,
working for justice and peace at home and around the world.

We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants,
those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges,
those in the military and law enforcement.

Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord,
with a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice
in the years ahead for all people,
and especially those who are most vulnerable in our midst.

Amen.

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To vote for life and human dignity

Novena for Our Nation Friday Prayer Intention:
For our Political Engagement to be Guided by our Faith

To know the way of truth and love, justice and peace

Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find solace in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5) and then encourages us: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). As we contemplate the vast amount of work to be done, we are sustained by our faith that God is present alongside those who come together in his name to work for justice. 

— Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, Conclusion (2009)

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To live in solidarity with the poor

We live the Gospel of Life when we live in solidarity with the poor of the world, standing up for their lives and dignity.  Yet abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others.  They are committed against those who are weakest and most defenseless, those who are genuinely “the poorest of the poor.”  They are endorsed increasingly without the veil of euphemism, as supporters of abortion and euthanasia freely concede these are killing even as they promote them.  Sadly, they are practiced in those communities which ordinarily provide a safe haven for the weak — the family and the healing professions.  Such direct attacks on human life, once crimes, are today legitimized by governments sworn to protect the weak and marginalized.

— Living the Gospel of Life, article 5

To weave networks of charity

Charity is love received and given. It is “grace” (cháris). Its source is the wellspring of the Father’s love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Love comes down to us from the Son. It is creative love, through which we have our being; it is redemptive love, through which we are recreated. Love is revealed and made present by Christ (cf. Jn 13:1) and “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5). As the objects of God’s love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God’s charity and to weave networks of charity.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, article 5 (2009)

To reintroduce Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – to our culture
and build a culture of life

To remain free and faithful citizens

Novena for Our Nation Friday Prayer Intention:
Religious Freedom in Society

This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

Dignitatis Humanae, Pope Paul VI, 1965

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The first amendment was written not to protect the people and their laws from their religious values, but to protect those values from government tyranny. — Ronald Reagan, Campaign Address on Religious Liberty, 1980

May the God and Father of all grant that the human family, through careful observance of the principle of religious freedom in society, may be brought by the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to the sublime and unending and “glorious freedom of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:21). — Dignitatis Humanae, Pope Paul VI, 1965

 

 

To become people of prayer

Prayer Transforms Us

This past summer, and as we progress into fall, as Election Day draws nigh, it has been and continues to be all too easy, especially for passionate people, to lose ground and our sense of reality by watching or engaging too much with “mainstream” media, social media, or otherwise. Only by being people of prayer and through meditation on scripture will we be rooted in truth and able to persevere as the drama that surrounds us unfolds, and the very real, mostly unseen, spiritual battle is fought.

  • May we not be men and women with divided hearts, who claim one thing in public, and another in private.
  • May God’s love for and mercy toward us pervade our entire lives, all we say and do, when other people are watching, and when it is only God who sees.
  • May God transform us through our faithfulness to daily prayer. As God shapes us into the image and likeness of his Son, Jesus, may we then transform our world.

Prayer of Day

Mary, mother of Jesus
and of those who participate in his priestly ministry,
we come to you with the same attitude of children who come to their mother.

We are no longer children,
but adults who desire with all our hearts to be God’s children.

Our human condition is weak,
that is why we come to ask for your motherly aid
so we are able to overcome our weakness.

Pay for us so that we can, in turn, become people of prayer.

We invoke your protection
so that we may remain free from all sin.

We invoke your love so that it may reign and
we will be able to be compassionate and forgiving.

We ask for your blessing
so we can be like the image of your beloved Son,
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

— Saint Mother Teresa, In My Own Words, Ligouri Publications, 1989

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Pray after you vote

Questions of the Evening

I’m pretty settled in my plan of action for voting, so why do I keep turning to news outlets, and sicken myself – over and over again – by what I hear and see? What is this compulsion, this (bad) habit or vice that drives me to the latest headline or turn of events, even when I know that the mass media is the biggest producer of unreality and mostly a waste of time? Who is saying what now?

>> The 2016 election is a bad soap opera (not that I’m aware of any good soap operas). It is totally unnecessary to torture myself so. Que sera, sera. And I will vote. And you will vote. And hopefully everyone who can will participate in the election.

And Jesus Christ remains the victor.

For every minute of mass media you consume, do you consume one minute of scripture and another minute of prayer? Might we tip the scales in greater favor of Truth and Reality with a fast from the detritus proffered by “mainstream” mass media?

>> May tonight’s psalm settle stomachs and guide us on. May we be at peace in Christ, no matter the turn of events, and continue to hope in the promises of God.

Evening Prayer

Psalm of the Evening: 37:1–9

Do not be provoked by evildoers;
do not envy those who do wrong.

Like grass they wither quickly;
like green plants they wilt away.

Trust in the LORD and do good
that you may dwell in the land and live secure.

Find your delight in the LORD
who will give you your heart’s desire.

Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will act

And make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
your justice like noonday.

Be still before the LORD;
wait for him.
Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
nor by malicious schemers.

Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;
do not be provoked; it brings only harm.

Those who do evil will be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth.

Scripture of the Evening: 2 Corinthians 1:18–22

As God is faithful, our word to you is not “yes” and “no.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me, was not “yes” and “no,” but “yes” has been in him. For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory. But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.

Pray before you vote

Question of the Morning

As we as we navigate through the labyrinth of the Craziest Election Season Ever,
what ought we do?

>> We ought to do what we always do: remember God and be faithful to daily prayer.

Morning Prayer

Psalm of the Morning: 12

Help, LORD, for no one loyal remains;
the faithful have vanished from the children of men.
They tell lies to one another,
speak with deceiving lips and a double heart.

May the LORD cut off all deceiving lips,
and every boastful tongue,
Those who say, “By our tongues we prevail;
when our lips speak, who can lord it over us?”

“Because they rob the weak, and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD;
“I will grant safety to whoever longs for it.”
The promises of the LORD are sure,
silver refined in a crucible,
silver purified seven times.
You, O LORD, protect us always;
preserve us from this generation.
On every side the wicked roam;
the shameless are extolled by the children of men.

Scripture of the Morning: Isaiah 46:9b–10; 11b–13

I am God, there is no other;
I am God, there is none like me.

At the beginning I declare the outcome;
from of old, things not yet done.

I say that my plan shall stand,
I accomplish my every desire.

Yes, I have spoken, I will accomplish it;
I have planned it, and I will do it.

Listen to me, you fainthearted,
far from the victory of justice:

I am bringing on that victory, it is not far off,
my salvation shall not tarry;

I will put salvation within Zion,
give to Israel my glory.