A Pre-Election Thought

At long last we come to a pivotal event in our nation’s history; Election Day 2012.

Looking at the Ballot online, there are as usual a slew of amendments; amongst them is the proposed Amendment to the Louisiana Constitution about the Right to Bear Arms? This takes me back to the Bill of Rights, and wondering how this has become an issue in our state Constitution. But it has… and I’m thankful that I took the few seconds necessary to look up the Ballot ahead of time.

Recently I found these “Rules for Civil Dialogue” on the US Bishop’s website. They offer some charitable advice on conducting political discourse, which is entirely in line with St. Paul’s advice to the Corinthians in Chapter 13 of his famous first letter to them.

“Guidelines for Political Discourse

1. Make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak.

2. Share your personal experience, not someone else’s.

3. Listen carefully and respectfully. Speak carefully and respectfully. Do not play the role of know-it-all, convincer or corrector. Remember that a dialogue is not a debate.

4. Don’t interrupt unless for clarification or time keeping.

5. Accept that no group or viewpoint has a complete monopoly on the truth.

6. “Be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than condemn it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2478, quoting St. Ignatius of Loyola).

7. Be cautious about assigning motives to another person.”

I like these guidelines except for one thing: regarding #5, the Catholic Church does hold within it the fullness of the truth.

Monday night and Tuesday morning we are hosting Eucharistic Adoration for those willing to make an extra commitment to prayer, and to offer a Sacrifice of Praise to our God as millions prepare to vote.

My prayer for our Parish is that we seek to fulfill the wishes of Jesus Christ, who is Lord in our lives. I pray that he may guard our election and hold his own to Himself. May the holy angels surround us, and guard us in all of our ways.


The Rev. Kenneth Allen