I recently attended events where family members
expressed two very different attitudes toward living our Catholic faith in an
uncertain age. One family member expressed doom and despair for our culture as
we careen toward Election Day results. She feared that attacks on unborn life,
marriage, religious liberty, and the dignity of women would grow worse if voters
elected the wrong people. The other family member spent time delighting in her grandchildren,
thanking my husband and me for our pro-life work, and sharing how she
faithfully drove to Mass every morning to pray.
Both women know the importance of allowing their faith
to guide and inspire the choices in their lives. Both know it is vital to bring
our faith into the voting booth in our efforts to end abortion, assisted
suicide, and euthanasia and to protect women, children and families. Yet one
demonstrated how a focus on prayer, gratitude and joy offers hope for changing
Do we place our faith, hope, and trust primarily in results
from the voting booth or in the Lord's whispers heard in the church pew?
It has been a difficult and divisive time in our
country. As we struggle to unite in seeking solutions on a wide variety of
issues, consider focusing not on November
8, but on December 8, the feast of
the Immaculate Conception of Mary. St. John Paul II's devotion to our Blessed
Mother inspired him to seek Jesus' help through her intercession. May he
inspire men and women alike to turn to her as the perfect model of
faithfulness, strength, and courage in all things. This devotion is also
appropriate because the U.S. bishops declared Mary to be the Patroness of the United
States of America under the title of the Immaculate Conception.
Remember that Mary, under the title Our Lady of
Guadalupe, helped heal the suffering of the Mexican people and convert
millions. If Mary can bring about the conversion of a whole nation, consider
her powerful help in converting those who promote or provide abortions to leave
the abortion industry and turn to the Lord's boundless mercy and healing
Still not convinced in the power of prayer? Note that
dedicated and persistent on-site prayer campaigns have been vital in helping to
close down Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities across the country.
On the World Day of Peace in 1997, St.
John Paul II said, "Let us never forget that everything passes, and only the eternal can
fill the heart." Regardless of election results, Jesus Christ is always
our salvation and provides our hope. While being faithful citizens, we can bend
our knees in prayer, raise our eyes to the cross, and fix our gaze on Jesus,
allowing Him to fill our hearts with faith, hope, and love. And, like Our Lady,
let us always remember to trust in God's plan for our country, and remain a
light to all we meet.
McClusky is Assistant Director for Project Rachel Ministry Development at the
Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. For confidential
help after abortion, visit www.hopeafterabortion.com or www.esperanzaposaborto.org.