Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Politics is sometimes unpleasant. The recent struggle over the health care bill has borne that out. I have had more than one conversation recently in which someone said, "I don't like politics." Well, you can't blame'em!

On the other hand, and this is the point of this post, it is our responsibility as citizens to participate in the political process, including the unpleasant task of remaining reasonably informed. If it is unpleasant, that is no reason to shy away from involvement. If we don't work to make sure that the current political order is as just is as reasonably possible (or as least unjust as possible, if you want to put it that way), we are not living up to our lay vocation. To be involved in the political process requires an ascesis of our desires and our likings and our preferences. It we don't work to prevent some injustice (knowing full well that other injustices will occur), then injustice will simply take over. The value of law is expressed will in St. Thomas More's famous line in Man for All Seasons to his son-in-law:
Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Of course, that involvement will also, and perhaps more importantly require the cultivation of an intense interiority--a dynamic spiritual life in which we trust in the Incarnate Word, who reveals the Father to us. I've seen this quote around lately, by Bl. Piet Giorgio Fassati:
In this trying time that our country is going through, we Catholics, and especially we students, have a serious duty to fulfil: our self-formation. We, who by the Grace of God are Catholics, must steel ourselves for the battle we shall certainly have to fight to fulfil our programme and give our country, in the not too distant future, happier days and a morally healthy society. But to achieve this we need constant prayer to obtain from God the grace without which all our powers are useless, organisation and discipline to be ready for action at the right time, and finally, the sacrifice of ourselves, because without that we cannot achieve our aim.

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