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.

Our first Reflection for Election 2020 came out for July 4, 2020, so we were one of the first out of the gate to provide a discernment resource for the 2020 electoral season.  These reflections have been shared and adapted by many religious Congregations and parishes. The Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center in Seattle links them on their website. They are shared with the Justice Conference of Women Religious Google group and we have received much appreciative feedback. With only 39 days to Election Day, many other groups have begun to share information and discernment resources as well. We share some of them with you as you intensify your own prayer, reflection and discernment as November 3, 2020 draws near.

PRAYER

Oh God of Creation,

As citizens of a nation possessing and exerting tremendous power and influence — both in the human community, and on the planet You so lovingly created‎ — help us to remember that our individual votes have tremendous consequences. Help us to remember that we are casting our vote not only for ourselves, but for the billions of other beings in the world whose lives will be directly‎ affected by our nation’s election results.

May we be keenly mindful that the decisions made by the leaders we elect will affect so many:

• The afflicted children in Flint, Ramallah, Aleppo, ‎and Abuja
• The migratory monarch, the African elephant, and the pollinating bee
• The towering canopies and deep underground roots of Your ancient forests, and the birds, insects, primates, and other animals that inhabit them
• The war-weary people of Honduras , Syria, and the Philippines, struggling against violence and corruption
• The pika, the polar bear, and the darting fish of Your coral reefs, whose habitats are rapidly vanishing
• The desperate refugees fleeing violence, now languishing in prisons of our making
• The unarmed people of color gunned down in the favelas of Rio, the streets of Cleveland and Baltimore, and the shantytowns of Johannesburg; and
• All others with whom we share Your planet.

Let us cast our votes with prayerful discernment, humility, compassion, and in witness to Your love for all creation.

And let us each do what we can to ensure that our Sisters and Brothers who are eligible to vote — especially those lacking in power and access — are encouraged and permitted to do so, absent interference, intimidation, threat, and violence.

In the name of Jesus, who cast His lot with the weak and the oppressed – Amen.

Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism Team

Courtesy of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J.

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