Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
Are you excited for Election Day? I’m guessing not. Regardless of who wins, a world in the midst of a spiritual breakdown zaps our enthusiasm for the election. Our government is never going to provide us with spiritual leaders, but we can have it for our faith and our Church. So do your civic duty and vote — then shake off the dust of politics. And the dirt. And scum. Rise up and survive through our Catholic faith.
1. Go to Adoration. Vent and empty yourself before the Lord so he will fill you with all the graces you need post-election.
2. Pray the Rosary. Always a productive comfort to pray with the Blessed Mother who watched her son Jesus put to death by a government official. She understands the anguish of politics.
3. Read Scripture. Divine Truth is better than politics. Note the politics during the time of Jesus. Not great then either.
4. Go to Mass. Be present at the foot of the cross and the Last Supper and receive Jesus. When you receive what matters most, the rest is less troubling.
5. Rely on Catholic News Sources. See the world though a Catholic lens where God is never absent.
6. Prepare for martyrdom. You should. Things are heating up regardless of who wins. Shore up your courage with the lives of the saints and inspirational reads such as Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage by Matthew Archbold. The stories are engaging and inspirational, and provide examples of how to follow Jesus in these times.
7. Remember that God created you for such a time as this. Every time I get nostalgic for simpler times, I remind myself that it’s no accident that I live now. Dear Lord, help me to fulfill your plan for me.
8. Don’t freak out. If pull your hair out, scream, and go live in your basement, you’ll just end up with bad hair, a sore throat, and a vitamin D deficiency. God did not put us here to party; he made us to be holy. Let’s get on with it.
9. Appreciate the blessings. These immoral times have cleared our vision. Otherwise, we might be tempted to get too attached to the world.
10. Find like-minded Catholics. Associate with other serious Catholics. Pray to God to make those connections. It’s great to evangelize but we need support too.
11. Don’t let politics intimidate you. Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminded us in his book Characters of the Passion: “It was Jesus Christ who suffered under Pontius Pilate; it was not Pontius Pilate who suffered under Jesus Christ. The grave danger today is not religion in politics but politics in religion.”
12. Resign yourself. There’s no rapture. Obstacles are looming. So be it.
13. Channel the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit! Pray to him to fill you up, and give you the words to be the voice of reason when opportunities arise.
14. Don’t talk politics. Avoid conversations with people who will shout you down and make you feel nauseous. Pray instead.
Now pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relax. Everything is going to be okay. We have each other. We have the Catholic Church. Brace yourself for anything and after the election, regardless of the results, simply proceed as you were.