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Prayer on the Eve of Election | Tuesday, November 3, 2020

(Don Zimmer)

I must confess that I have known how I will vote in this election for some time. I’d like to say I’ve been objective, but that is not completely so. I’ve been surprised at the intensity of unexplained emotions welling up inside me. I’ve heard that politics can do this. I’d like to think my choices have been based on careful analyses of issues and my emotions balanced, but I cannot truthfully say that. Prayers about this process have been difficult. Indeed, the only prayers I have been able to offer with even a hint of sincerity have been those of some of my favorite authors writing in times of great turmoil. As painful as this election process has been so far for me, I am grateful for the struggle. For the pain has forced me to peer into regions of my being that I apparently too seldom visit and examine myself more critically.

The outcome of this election may not be what I want; I cannot control that. What I can and must do, however, is work harder on my knees to love as God loves and offer that love back to God, my neighbor, and the world with as much of my heart, soul, mind, strength, time, and resources as God graciously grants me.

Too much of the rhetoric today seems to presume that Republican or Democrat, conservative or progressive has the answer. They do not. Regardless of who “wins” Tuesday, there will be no real victory for anyone without the diligent work of our loving and the strenuous efforts to heal— the very gifts the church has been entrusted with. My path—dare I say our path—is clear, and it requires hard work. I need to hear again the prayer of St Francis. Listen with me:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace Where there is hatred, let me sow love Where there is injury, pardon Where there is doubt, faith Where there is despair, hope Where there is darkness, light And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may Not so much seek to be consoled as to console To be understood, as to understand To be loved, as to love For it is in giving that we receive And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned And it's in dying that we are born to Eternal Life Amen.”

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