This post is being published in less than a week of the Presidential elections 2016. As Catholics, we are called to journey in this beautiful path called life with love, compassion, and truth. With the elections happening next week we can undoubtedly agree that there isn’t a candidate that represents our morals and beliefs, but honestly has there really ever been? So, what now? Do we not vote? Yeah not exactly, in an indirect manner we are serving others by voting and as Christ himself mentions in Luke chapter 12, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” So, yes we have a civil duty, responsibility and privilege to very much partake and be active in this election. How do we do this when our morals are being opposed by all parties? There is not a clear-cut answer, and the faith we proclaim will never be able to accurately fit in the mold of a political party. Today, I want to present you with three principals you could take into consideration when going into the polls. These three principals do not assure and easy election, but they can guide us to a piece of mind and heart when partaking in our duty.
- Form your conscience- Listen to our conscience. That is one thing that unites all of humanity, the seeking of the truth. We all want the truth, and our conscience usually has the answer to the truth. Our conscience is formed in reflection prayer, and in dialogue with the world. But in order to form our conscience, we must be informed. First, understanding the firm beliefs the church stands on in important topics. A recommended read would be Gaudium et spes, about the church in present society. After understanding the moral standings, we can move on to becoming informed on the platforms of each candidate. It isn’t until we become informed that our conscience can make a clear connection between truth and morale.
- Be prudent- Being prudent is a virtue that we cannot forget going into this election. The platforms are not Christian, so being prudent can help us filter out certain concepts that may be causing confusion. Prudency is the wisdom of applying our morals in an imperfect world in uncomfortable circumstances. In other words, it creates a practical question, which candidate can realistically impact (good or bad) the common good in an immediate manner? Being prudent takes us away from over-thinking scenarios that aren’t as tangible as others. The church teachings are clear, but again the platforms will never resemble it, and being prudent can help you visualize which candidate’s actions or platforms are most immediate and necessary always in light of the seeking of the common good.
- The common good- As Catholics, our role is to find the common good. The well-being of all Americans, and those of other nations. We are searching to serve the poor of the poor, the vulnerable, and the people without a voice, the disabled, the unborn, the immigrant and more. As Catholics, we understand and know we’re dependent beings, and that God entrusted us to each other, and we cannot be silent at the cry of the needs of others.
May the Lord bless us with the virtue of prudency and an informed conscience to seek with eagerness the common good.God bless America.
Joandra Ocampo – Writer, unparalleled love