A running commentary by a former Anglican priest who was baptized Catholic,

kidnapped from the Church in his youth,

and found his way back through the blessings of Anglican spirituality.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election, What Election?

In thinking about the recent Presidential election, I have been praying for one thing more than anything else. No, it was not for either candidate to win or lose. It is difficult to choose between the options when neither appears qualified. There were times when I hoped that neither candidate would win, but the other options were no better. I have felt for years now that anyone who really wants to be a part of the political system in Washington D.C. is either an amazingly strong and brave man, or he is crazy. Who would really enjoy jumping into that muck?

So here we are looking to the future and seeing the likelihood that we are going to move further down the scale into socialism, and we need to realize that communism is just around the corner. We fought it for years (and mocked those who accepted it), and now we have people saying "I'm all for it if it will help us" (exactly as people said with Lenin). What, then, is it that I have been praying for? Mercy. I have prayed, "Lord keep this nation under thy care" and "guide us in the way of justice and truth". I believe that He will answer this prayer for mercy, but that does not mean that He will answer it in the way that we desire.

If we have been putting our hopes in a politician, then we are eventually going to be disappointed. They are not Jesus Christ, so they cannot live up to His perfection. They will always fail at one time or another. Therefore, I ask, "election, what election?" Not meaning that I do not pay attention to who is the President of America. Rather, meaning that it is not the results of an election that determine whether I have hope in the mercy of Christ. It is not who is in the oval office that gives me confidence that God will be merciful. For sometimes, God's mercy comes in unexpected ways. Sometimes it comes through the ministrations of wicked men. Yes, God can even use the foolishness of a man who advocates murdering innocent babies (like Herod, or President Obama) to open an avenue for mercy.

No, we do not want to encourage wicked leaders, but we cannot place our hope in the righteousness of our leaders. Only Christ can fulfill that hope. Only His righteousness will never fail. Yes, there are some politicians who could do a better job than others, and yes there are some whose understanding of civil government accords with the Catholic Church's teaching on social and economic issues. Yet, we cannot put our hope in them. For with them, or without them, the Lord God can still protect His people and show them His mercy.

I would even say that we should be thanking God for doing what He knows is best for us. Will He use our current President for our good? Of course He will; but, once again, it may not be in the manner that we expect. God promises to be merciful to us, so if we believe those promises and we pray for Him to fulfill them, we can have perfect confidence that He will do so. We can also rest assured that He will do so in the manner that is best for us (as Scripture says so often--Rom 8:28).

This means that God has chosen to bless us through the particular trial of having a President come against the Church. What our current commander in chief is advocating is not only a destruction of the religious freedom that our forefathers fought so hard to achieve, but also a further entrenchment of the current practice of war on the womb. I cannot tell what this will lead to precisely, but one thing is definite: it will lead to a strengthening of the Catholic Church in America. Yes, it will likely also lead to a shrinking of the Church, for (as always happens in times of trial) it will weed out those who are unwilling to suffer for the sake of Christ. We have been enjoying the blessings of the past for a long time, and this means that we have become a bit lax in our faith. In this fallen world, the Church grows best when she is persecuted. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

As I said, once again, I prayed for mercy. I continue to pray for mercy. I pray that God will be merciful to grant us strength to stand true to the faith of our fathers. I pray that those who are weak in their faith (or who have compromised much of it away) will be encouraged to revive their spirits. I pray for our children. They are the ones who will likely have to endure the consequences of our actions today, and I know that they will need a powerful sense of tradition and the dogmas of Mother Church. Without a strong anchor, they will falter, and we are responsible to nurture them in a way that gives them that strong anchor. May we all persevere in whatever God sends our way, and may we each be bold to confess Jesus before all men. God have mercy on us.


  1. 'Thanks to' President Obama US Catholics have already heard from their bishops and pastors more about the destructive effect of contraception on the marital bond over the last two years than in twenty or so years before. This is an incredible gain, as how could people be expected to follow the truth if they are not exposed to it. Typically, people want to have happy marriages and families probably more than anything else, so they are ready to do much to achieve it. And they are able to recognize true answers (e.g. a clear link between contraception and the divorce rate), even if it is a “narrow path”.
    Let us remember, that having a nominally Catholic president in the 1960s contributed much to the popular image of Catholics as weak in faith and even hypocritical, and probably did more damage than good to the Church. “Your ways are not mine”. Who knows, perhaps a Mormon president would add so much credibility to this and other sects that much more people would be led astray from the true Church...
    Well, let us pray for US bishops that they are given the perseverance and wisdom from the above in opposing the NHS mandate.

  2. Fr. Chori Jonathin Seraiah, your blog has given me the first bit of solice since this presidential race began to gain momentum this past summer. Your words are a breath of fresh air that I am finally able to breathe again. Too often we get caught up in the ever growing state of disarray that is around us and we get down trodden. We know there will be mercy. Unfortunately, we tend to wait for it with our heads down so as not to feel the full brunt of that which is taking place. Your small blog spoke volumes to me just now, and, from now on, I will be waiting with my head held high and my face out, so that I might see the procession that preceeds Jesus and his works. In my day to day life, the military has taught me to walk with my head up to show pride, my faith in people, Jesus, and the church have taught me to smile, and you have taught and inspired me to do the same two things inwardly and spiritually! Thank You very much!
    -Jacob Pyle (gumpdeltatauchi@yahoo.com)
    Missile Technician 2nd Class USN
    3rd Degree Knight of Columbus Council 13395
    Vivat Jesus!

    1. Keep that head held high, and God bless you for your service to our nation.

  3. I prayed in earnest for a different outcome, and am in the slow process of accepting His Will in allowing us our faltering...BUT am so THANKFUL for the "more than last time" priests and bishops who came out strong and stood with the Church. God is merciful (!), and God is Just ...

  4. I heard Msgr Steenson mention you, Father, as having one of the largest families in the Ordinariate in his presentation to the USCCB yesterday ;-)
    The presentation provides much insight into the Ordinariate.
    The Ordinariate operates with incredibly small funds, really in the Franciscan spirit, as Msgr Steenson put it. And that certainly puts much material strain on converting clergy, which - as the Ordinary said - gives him much headache.
    Yet the future seems very bright, with so many communities and candidates for ordination still waiting in line for the reception and new declarations appearing almost on a daily basis.