Will This Be a Peaceful Transition in Our Hearts?

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.

The South Lawn of the White House
The South Lawn of the White House (photo: Lisa Runnels / Pixabay/CC0)

How peacefully will today’s transition of presidential power unfold in our own hearts?

For the pro-life cause, this is a devastating blow as President Joe Biden has pledged his complete support for abortion in any circumstances, including late-term abortions. There are other issues of concern with a Biden presidency for faithful Catholics and it can be difficult to wrestle with this in our hearts. 

Why God has allowed this is anyone’s guess, but the bottom line is that he is allowing it — at least for the time being. Hateful comments, posts and memes have flown back and forth on social media, adding to the animosity between friends and family members. It grieves me to see people I’ve known and respected spewing vile language at each other. This is not good for our country, and it certainly isn’t good for our hearts and souls. 

No matter our beliefs and positions, we mustn’t succumb to anger, hatred, fear or despair. As Catholics, we’re taught to accept God’s will and do our best to follow it. Just as the transition in Washington must be peaceful and orderly, the transition in our hearts must be peaceful and orderly. Lashing out and rash thinking and acting is useless and often detrimental to any cause. Instead, we need prayer, fasting, penance and clear thinking to discern the best and most effective ways to promote a Culture of Life and defeat the Culture of Death.

The Beatitudes could be a valuable guide for us as we work on ordering the transition in our hearts and as we proceed into the future. Our Lord gave the beatitudes to his disciples at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5:1-11). They form the core of Christian life and are the “promises of happiness made by Christ to those who faithfully accept his teaching and follow his divine example,” as Father John Hardon writes. The Beatitudes are:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.

Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 

Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. 

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When we call ourselves Christian, we acknowledge our commitment to live in imitation of Christ and to follow him even into the darkest of times. Christ is the Light of the World, and with him there is no true darkness. As he himself said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.” With Christ to light the way, we’ll have a peaceful transition in our country and our hearts.