Christ the King Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral in Roslindale, Massachusetts

Christ the King
Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral in Roslindale, Massachusetts

As I write this, I have no clue who will win the office of presidency for my home country, the United States of America.  I don’t know who will fill the hundreds of empty Congressional seats and the various gubernatorial ones either.  For weeks, months even, my heart has been clouded by a sense of impending doom and gloom, mostly because of the horrific articles and social media posts I’ve seen about both political parties on both sides.

I will contend, as I always have, that I am first and foremost a Catholic.  I am loyal to the Church, not one particular political party.  And, let’s face it—at the end of this election today, we will have a new president-elect, ready to be sworn in shortly after we ring in 2017.

I have my qualms about both presidential candidates, and either way, our country will suffer in unimaginable ways.  But times like these remind me of one thing that cannot and does not change—We must place our trust in God, not in people.

Consider how God doesn’t change.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end to all.  He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.  Our political and economic climate will fluctuate, just like the stock market and our relationships wax and wane.  But we cannot place our trust in any of these.  It’s true that those in high positions possess great power, sometimes over how we pay taxes or what our tax dollars purchase (e.g., federally funded abortions, contraceptives, etc.), but no one can take away our faith in God.

So as we linger in the aftermath of the voters’ decisions, as we contemplate our future as a nation and whether or not the world will become a better place for our children, let us first remember—in joyful hope—that God will never forsake us, regardless of where this life leads us.

Let’s revisit the first reading from second Maccabees (chapter 7) during Mass this past weekend:

‘It was from Heaven that I received these; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again.’ Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing (emphasis mine).

We may suffer in this nation, but we must still remain under God’s laws.  We know He gives us courage and strength to withstand any hardship that may befall us – financially, regarding our religious freedom, economically, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  Hardship doesn’t equal defeat.  Only despair and fear lead us to utter hopelessness.

So let us rise again, my fellow Americans.  Let us not be afraid of the increasing tumult in our nation.  Times like these call for greatness, and we are commissioned by God to sainthood.  Whatever path to sainthood we may be asked to follow, we know it will be difficult and perhaps involve more suffering or increased sacrifices.  Yet, through those sufferings, we also have confidence that God will not abandon us.  He has always and will continue to grant us the grace to face our adversities with patience and peace.

Our nation, and yes, the world, needs the Faith we have been blessed to receive.  They need people who do not falter in the Faith, but instead stand against the changing tide of the culture.  We do not worship a god of death.  Our God is the God of the living, and we must live more fully now than ever before.

That means we should prepare ourselves more intensely with spiritual armor—daily Scripture readings, frequenting the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation more often, perhaps adding a Holy Hour to our week or month, praying the Rosary as a family, and surrounding ourselves with those who encourage, inspire, and uplift us.  We will face conflict and even hatred, as we have seen stir and swelter in the past several years.  But if we remain the peacemakers, those who bring mercy and God’s love to a hurting and broken society, we can be assured that we will bring others to know and love God.

Even if we do not know the changes we make in this life, we will see them in the afterlife.  And that is what we must do—fight for souls with prayer, fasting, and love that heals the deep-seated wounds of our day.  Only if we choose to walk the path of sainthood, one by one, will our nation and world bear the light of Christ once again.

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Text Copyright 2016 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.

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