Pastoral Letter Regarding the Upcoming National Election

Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles

 

Sisters and Brothers,

 

This past Sunday, The Word of God penetrated our hearts with these two images:

 

God hears the cry of those who are lowly, outcast, and without power because he can touch their hearts in lowliness and humility. But, those who hearts are self righteous and hard, go away from God unheard and unjustified. We must approach God in prayer and need like the tax collector, relying on God's mercy, not our own self righteousness or vanity.

 

If nothing else, this campaign season should open our eyes in self revelation, that our country is still plagued with all kinds of prejudice driven by fear. Our hearts are still often too hard and too closed. We hear talk about walls of division and false security, charges of blame against people of Muslim faith, base humiliating descriptions against women and minorities. We must not allow ourselves the self righteous smugness to see ourselves as a nation without fault or without need of improving. But, what has always been great about our country and remains so, are hearts that hear each other, and over time, listen to our greater voices to correct our journey in justice and greater inclusive equality. The question remains, are we listening to those greater voices?

 

As we, as a people of Christian faith and American society, prepare to celebrate the great feast of the Church: the communion of Saints, I propose to us, some examples of those greater voices from our faith and national heritage to inspire us to be our best selves and pray for leaders who will do likewise as we undertake, the sacred civil responsibility of voting.

 

As a Church we offer a novena of prayer and reflective journey of icons of justice and peace, true leadership, and examples of humility and meekness, but also strength of conviction. Let us take nine days beginning with the Eve of All Saints, October 31st and continue to pray until election day, November 8th. Let us ask God to grant us leaders with hearts of service, humility, and justice to inspire us to commit ourselves to making a nation free from fear and injustice, free from hate, and division, a nation committed to justice and equality for all: male, female, gay, straight, trans-gendered, Black, White, Native, Asian, Latino, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist.

 

Let us pray together, work together, one in mind and heart into God,

 

+Joseph Augustine