Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Phil 3:17-4:1 Faithful Citizenship

Friday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach;
their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified Body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Fed up with endless political phone calls and junk mail, I had made up my mind not to vote in the mid-term elections this year. "Why bother?" I said to myself. "My vote isn't going to change anything. Our government will still do a poor job regardless of whether a Republican or Democrat gets elected."  

Then I prayed about it.... I remembered how often the Church talks about faithful citizenship, especially when election time rolls around.  It is my duty as a citizen of the United States, and as a Catholic Christian, to exercise the power of the vote.  Vote for candidates who affirm life, help build a better community, and secure our nation from harm.  If I don't vote, then I miss out on the opportunity to help shape the society I live in.  If I don't vote, then I have no right to complain, pure and simple.

 This quote from Pope Francis gave me further clarity:  “People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens, not as a mob swayed by the powers that be. Let us not forget that “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.”  

Despite the rain and the chill, I left early from work and headed over to my polling place.  Afterwards I felt proud to cast a ballot.  I knew not everyone I voted for would win; however, at least these people had a constitutional right to election.  So many countries ban democratic elections. Citizens are left helpless with limited choices for their nation's political future.

St. Paul writes about our citizenship is in heaven.  With this idea in mind, we can better handle social and political policies which contradict the Church's teachings.  We have Christ as our governor, our leader, and our best supporter!  In fact our "dual" citizenship -- in the country where we reside and the heaven we look forward to -- gives us an even greater responsibility to voice our concerns and influence decisions.

Pope Francis explains further, "I believe that Catholics involved in politics carry the values of their religion within them, but have the mature awareness and expertise to implement them. The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I'm here."

Faithful citizenship doesn't invite us to sit around waiting for someone else to change the world.  Faithful citizenship calls us to become world changers.  Get out there and become another Christ despite living in a secular world where religion is attacked on a daily basis.  Those against God rather see religion die; religious persons vanish into obscurity; and religiosity turn into a wasteful existence.  We must fight this mentality as stewards of Christ.

 It's unsettling to witness society slowly degrade into a sea of selfishness; a fog of ignorance; and a landfill of perversion. It's frightening to think what the world will be like 20, 30, or 50 years from now.  Will our children remain in the faith?  Will our nation remain "under God"?  Will our communities value life?  Will our freedoms remain viable?  Will the names God, Jesus, Mary, and Christ become profane words nobody is allowed to say much less believe in?

This morning I couldn't help but laugh when I read that the Wendy Davis Campaign blames massive defeat on Ebola. She secured less than 39% percent of the vote against Attorney General Greg Abbott.  Anyone living in Texas who has followed Ms. Davis knows her strong pro-abortion stance along with her distasteful "wheel chair" campaign advertisement.   Blaming Ebola for an election loss is ludicrous.

Should we blame Ebola for the decline in mass attendance?  Should we blame Ebola for people disobeying Church teaching? No way!  This is just another excuse for people to push away the faith.  

Another aspect of faithful citizenship is to encourage others to participate in the political process.  Don't just make your voice heard on Election Day but every day.  One thing I've started following, along with Catholic Pro-Life causes, is the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development website. I challenge Catholics to keep abreast of the Church's social justice activities throughout the world and support her causes through prayer and action.

Do you want a passport to heaven?  Remain a faithful citizen to Christ and his Body, the Church!  

This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin.  Please follow her blog:  Jennifer’s Spectrum of Spirituality

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