Tomorrow is the presidential election, and it is most definitely a top priority prayer intention for all of us here in the monastery, so much so that will be observing a solemn fast day. Beyond being an important prayer intention, this election is also a moment in which we nuns are given the opportunity to experience “one of our greatest blessings in the United States…our right and responsibility to participate in civic life.” It is an exercise which all of us treat seriously, especially at this time when so many morally vital issues, such as the right to life, the ethics of stem cell research, and the sanctity of marriage and family life, are at stake. Although we have our “citizenship in heaven,” we are also citizens of the United States, which means that we must vote responsibly for those in public office. That means informing ourselves of the candidates’ positions, a knowledge which reaches us in the monastery through such venues as our local newspaper, and weekly news magazines. As Catholics and religious, we must also inform ourselves of the Church’s doctrine and teaching on these issues. As Dominicans, we are blessed to have a strong intellectual tradition in our Order, and so we educate ourselves by inviting experts to lecture on these crucial matters.
Being good Dominicans, this election is also a hot topic of conversation and discussion at our recreation times. And, being good Dominicans, our opinions and perspectives on the candidates may differ. Yet one thing we all agree upon is that this election is a real watershed and will reveal, in a startling way, no matter what the outcome, the mind of the American people and the direction our country will be taking in the future.
The U.S. Catholic Bishop’s Conference’s statement Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility and, from the Vatican,the Congregation for the Faith's "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life" are excellent voting guides. We invite all reading this blog to read these important documents.
Voting is not only something we should do, it is something to be done on our knees. “It is a mistake to think that, because we have here no lasting city, but seek the city which is to come, we are entitled to shirk our earthly responsibilities; this is to forget that by our faith we are bound all the more to fulfill these responsibilities according to the vocation of each.”
So, do we nuns rock the vote? Yes, we rock it by our witness, and by our prayers and sacrifices.