Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

It seems to me that there is something very fitting about the elections being held on Tuesday. Tuesday, as well as Friday, happen to be the days of the week when we are encouraged to meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries, the events in the life of Christ that most remind us of the pitiful shape of our human condition – our own condition, our personal and national condition, something that we don’t like to think about and honestly don’t care to confess.

It is also fitting that morning prayers today focus intently upon mercy, faithfulness, peace, and justice. One of its prayers says, “Show us your mercy, Lord; our misery is known to us. May no evil desires prevail over us, for your glory and love dwell in our hearts.”[1]

A bit of ancient wisdom tells us, “Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable.”[2] This ancient proverb has been variously translated. Justice. Righteousness. Virtue. The fruit of sin, the second part of the proverb, are also described by an assortment of words. Regardless of how we translate the Hebrew into our vernacular, it’s obvious that sin, and sinful behavior, are clear cut issues that have a devastating effect both personally and nationally.

Today will be a telling day.

Before its end there will be a large camp of rejoicing. There will also be a large camp of fellows bemoaning their defeat and considering how to overcome it in four years. One camp promises more, quick, exponential changes and personal freedoms that, in my opinion, support and further the miserable condition that characterizes what was once considered “one nation under God.” The other promises to hold on to at least some of the important moral vestiges of the past and intimates what many consider to be more of the historical national ideal. Either way, with either victor, the days and years ahead are replete with significant personal challenges for the little man, or woman, endeavoring to live simply and prayerfully, avoiding, as much as possible, all the political friction.

We awoke to a grey, dismal, overcast day. I can only pray that our local climatology contains no prophetic foreboding.

[1] LOH, Tuesday, Week III
[2] Proverbs 14:34, Douay-Rheims Translation