Let us pray:
PRAYER FOR GOVERNMENT
We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name. We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation. We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty. We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability. We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
The state of the union address was disturbing as I expected it to be, nothing new there, but I feel that with the coming persecutions of anyone whose consciences will not permit them to be content with paying for evils, it seemed appropriate to include the above prayer. The highlighted portion above could be prayed even more often as a shorter version. It is needed since the sitting president is not exhibiting wisdom but promoting evils. He clearly needs our prayers, as will his successor if he or she is to begin the long road toward setting things right again.
Our vocations as lay persons require that we be involved in the public sphere to the degree our other responsibilities allow. I am totally pro-life but cannot march in Washington as 400,000 pro-life persons did January 23rd. I cannot get out and canvas the neighborhoods for good candidates. I CAN however pray for our leaders and talk to people about what is going on out there.
Our responsibilities as citizens require us to become educated about the actual positions and past voting records of candidates in each election and then to vote. It would be irresponsible to vote without knowing anything about the candidates. We know that we cannot vote for any candidate who is not pro-life if there is a pro-life candidate available. This makes primaries VERY important because it is in the primaries that the citizens give input on which candidates get to run for each office. A shut-in can learn enough to vote well! Shirking our responsibilities as citizens is to fail in one aspect of our vocations. Let us live heroically and not fail!
The social doctrine of the Catholic Church defines common good in such a way that to violate the consciences of individuals means that the common good has been violated. Think on that too, while you pray for our leaders and make plans to vote in the next election.