The Word of God has been placed into the very fiber of our being.

Down to the smallest particles of who we are God has placed his mark. He has written on our hearts…He has crafted each part of us…He has breathed his life into our bodies…He has given us his love…He has planted the seed of his Word in our lives…He has done everything necessary to make the life and love he has given us flourish! One thing he has not done is forced us to accept or use any of what he has given. He has given us everything as a gift. Now don't think too long on what you have done with what he has given you or you might get a bit depressed. Well maybe you might be quite pleased with what you have done but I encourage you to always dig deeper, because we all know he is calling us to do more. I think that is where this homily series is going. Sure it is easy to watch the news, or read the papers and form our opinion on this topic or another. It is also something else to get into dialog with others and their views of things...sometime is goes from pleasant conversation to fighting quite quickly. Guess that is why people say to not talk about Faith or Politics in polite company. Guess I have broken that rule today...well this in not my first time...But I think it is for a good reason. I can remember being in seminary and talking to people about this thing or that thing. If the topic turned to politics I was not one to keep my mouth shut...I know can you believe it??? Anyway I can remember one type of argument or statement that people would use to try to hurt me. They would say something like “I think the Church should stay out of politics all together...ever hear of separation of Church and State???” Now I know there are people who would want nothing more than the end of all Churches. I have even seen bumper stickers that rail against Churches and their tax status and their involvement in the political life. On some accounts I would agree: I think the Church, ours or any other, should refrain from campaigning for politicians. We should refrain from using control to make sure people vote one way or another. We should refrain from confusing true patriotism with the sin of nationalism and promote US v. THEM, like we have seen with many of our Evangelical brethren. I do not agree that the Church should not be involved with the political life of the nation. It would be impossible to remove the Church and her teaching from our day to day life with one another. Sure we don't have to campaign but we do have to follow our moral mandate to be a part of shaping the moral character of

society. The bishops make a very clear point in their document. Read paragraphs #13 and #14 do we do all of that? Well I think we have to take into account what God has done in our life. We must see his action in our own personal life. We have many outside sources that bide for our time, but we must turn to the one who has created us and love us first. We must form our Consciences well, on how he has revealed himself to us. We must form our Consciences in accord with human reason and the teaching of the Church “Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere “feeling” about what we should or should not do. Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil.” Secondly we must use the Virtue of Prudence. Prudence enables us “to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it” (CCC#1806) Prudence shapes and informs our ability to deliberate over available alternatives to determine what is most fitting to a specific context and to act decisively. (#19) Read paragraph # 20. Aided by the virtue of prudence in the exercise of well-formed consciences, we are called to make practical judgments regarding good and evil choices in the political arena. (#21) I would encourage you to read this section of the Bishops document very closely especially Paragraph #22. Read paragraph #22. It is important for us to realize that avoiding “intrinsically evil” actions is only the first step. We must also be concerned with the good we are called to do. Both opposing evil and doing good are essential obligations. Because as you will start to see all of these issues become interconnected. When the right to life is diminished for any group the respect for all life is diminished. I hope of course you know these things by now. But if this is still a bit complex for you I encourage you to continue reading the bishop’s document and strive to understand it. I know all this stuff is not easy. I know too that well intentioned people take bits and pieces of the Churches teaching and manipulate it for their

own purposes. Sometime when you hear that you like it and sometime you are turned away by it. I do know that God has placed in the very fiber of your being the ability to understand all of this. I know that the Lord has planted his seeds on good soil. He will nourish what he has planted. I know that we will receive his love and life and be abundant in the blessings he has for us. We will take what he has given and do well with it. The issues are many and complex. But as we allow the love of God to rule our lives we will be faithful as stewards of his love as we live as faithful citizens of our nation and see our call to bring his good news to the world.