As our attention turns to the upcoming presidential election on November 3, 2020, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, in Convent Station, N.J., asked their Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity to prepare reflections that will help to discern and form our consciences during this electoral season. Each week they will share a quote from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, some questions for reflection, and a link to further material to those who would like to take a “deeper dive” into the issues the bishops raise. The Sisters of Charity of New York are grateful to be able to share the reflections created by Father Terrence Moran.
“In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in public life is a moral obligation…Unfortunately, politics is our country often can be a contest of political interests, partisan attacks, sound bites, and media hype. The Church calls for a different kind of political engagement: one shaped by the moral convictions of well-formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good, and the protection of the weak and vulnerable.” (Forming Consciences, 13, 14)
1. How have you experienced participation in political life as part of your commitment to the gospel?
2. Approximately 22% of eligible American voters are not even registered. Only 58% of those eligible voted in the last presidential election. What can you do to encourage people you know to register/vote? Check out the resources of the League of Women Voters https://www.lwv.org/
3. How can you make your participation in this year’s electoral campaign different and avoid “partisan attacks, sound bites and media hype?” Consider the language you use in political conversations, the media you watch.
Deeper Dive: Watch this video that the USCCB made to accompany their document. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpiJvheFjAA
Prayer (taken from the video)
Merciful Father, thank you for inviting each of us to join in your work of building the kingdom of love, justice, and peace. Help us to value all whom you love, those not yet born, those in poverty, those in need of welcome. Guide us in imitating your charity and compassion and to serve as models of loving dialogue. Amen.