Dear Deacon at the Parish We Visited This Weekend:
Maybe because you are not a priest you get a pass on not politicking from the pulpit?
You are not the first deacon or priest in these past few months who tried to sway my vote. Enough already. Many Catholics, such as our own children, are not eligible to vote. The family on the other side of the aisle are not U.S. citizens. Who, exactly, do you imagine you are talking to?
"He must avoid presenting his own choice as the only legitimate one, and within the Christian community, he should respect the maturity of the laity (cf. Ench. Vat., IV, 1196), and even work to help them achieve that maturity by forming their consciences (cf. Ench. Vat., IV, 1194). He will do what is possible to avoid making enemies by taking political stands that cause distrust and drive away the faithful entrusted to his pastoral mission."
I have been a Catholic for half a century. I do my best to live out my faith every day - at home, at work and in my community. I am far from perfect; in fact, like you I am a sinner.
My Christian life involves every moment of my day; from the moment I rise at 5:30 a.m. and say my matins to the moment I fall asleep about 11:30 in the evening after doing an Examination of Conscience and praying the rosary. Voting will take about five minutes.
So please, as a person of faith, help me raise these teenaged boys God has placed in our lives, help me be a better wife, a more loving neighbor, a more patient and encouraging special-education teacher, and truer friend.
Talk to me about the saints (why did you forget St. Theresa and St. Francis this Sunday?) about the beautiful traditions of the church, about how its rhythms and rites and sacraments can draw us closer to the Mystery that created us all.
Know sir, that my next-door neighbors, dear friends and close family members include people who are gay, who follow other faiths or no faith at all. Know that I pray every day on how to love them despite our differences in belief and outlook. Know that I see in them a Beauty that only comes from our Creator.
I am praying for you too, Deacon Whose Name I Do Not Know. Please pray for me.
A lifelong Catholic