Election Novena

Four years ago, I spent most of the election season on bedrest. I read way too many political blogs and watched way too many talking heads. It was an election about which I felt deeply. And, so, I wrote about it. I'm pretty sure I offended some people. This time around, I've not blogged politics at all. I've watched with certain sense of proud bemusement as Patrick, in particular, has become a politico. I remember fondly an internship on Capitol Hill at his age. But (with exception of Twitter parties during debates--can't help myself) I've not gone there this time. There is so much other chaos in my life just now that I'd prefer to opt out of election drama online.

Last weekend, my pastor offered a powerful homily and he gave me pause. He unequivocably said we have to speak up. All week, I've prayed about how to do that.

Let's just pray. From now until election day, let's just pray.  

O God, we acknowledge you today as Lord,
Not only of individuals, but of nations and governments.

We thank you for the privilege
Of being able to organize ourselves politically
And of knowing that political loyalty
Does not have to mean disloyalty to you.

We thank you for your law,
Which our Founding Fathers acknowledged 
And recognized as higher than any human law.

We thank you for the opportunity that this election 
year puts before us,
To exercise our solemn duty not only to vote,
But to influence countless others to vote,
And to vote correctly.

Lord, we pray that your people may be awakened.
Let them realize that while politics is not their salvation,
Their response to you requires that they be politically active.

Awaken your people to know that they are 
not called to be a sect fleeing the world
But rather a community of faith renewing the world.

Awaken them that the same hands lifted up to you in prayer 
Are the hands that pull the lever in the voting booth;
That the same eyes that read your Word
Are the eyes that read the names on the ballot,
And that they do not cease to be Christians
When they enter the voting booth.

Awaken your people to a commitment to justice
To the sanctity of marriage and the family,
To the dignity of each individual human life,
And to the truth that human rights begin when human lives begin,
And not one moment later.

Lord, we rejoice today
That we are citizens of your kingdom.

May that make us all the more committed
To being faithful citizens on earth.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Archbishop Chaput on the election.

And here's a small smile. Patrick and Mary Beth have been in charge of civics lessons for the preschool set;-)