Tuesday, September 23, 2008

40 Days 'til Election 2008: A Call to Prayer and Sacrifice

There is much at stake in this election year and something has been on my mind: With 40 days left until the election, Catholics, and other Christians wanting to join us, should consider treating this pre-election period like Lent, with prayer, fasting, abstaining, and sacrifices. It is important to have trust in God.

Whatever you do, don't worry about not being involved for the full 40 days. If you should stumble on this post even 1 day before the election, DO SOMETHING suggested below because it has value.

Encourage your friends to join in this effort. Send them a link to this post (just right-click over the time-stamp at the bottom and choose "copy shortcut", then paste it into an email).

There have been hits to this blog from 155 countries. You don't have to be an American to pray for a good outcome to this election. Please join us.

Prayer is always pleasing to God, especially when we follow through at times when we least feel like it or would rather be doing something else. There are many ways we can pray.

CatholicVote.com has a page dedicated to prayer for the election with links and several suggestions which includes things like the Election Novena which the bishops are asking us to pray, as well as devotions like the Rosary, and more. Even if you can't make a consistent daily commitment, do what you can, when you can. It is most pleasing to God when you pray at times when you least feel motivated, or would rather be doing something else. Here's more...

  • Daily Mass, or if you have not been getting to Sunday Mass, start going (after confession - see below).
  • Adoration (spend time before the Blessed Sacrament)
  • Spend time in silent meditation


Some of the ideas here are applicable to our Protestant brothers and sisters who may be reading and I understand that others may not. If you are not Catholic or struggle with understanding the relevance of some of these things, please join us in the simple things with which you are comfortable. Some of these require much deeper explanations than I can get into here so I will consider them for future post topics. For now, if you want to understand why Catholics "offer it up" when it comes to suffering, I encourage you to explore the subject further in the text of a talk given by Dr. Scott Hahn.

Here is a list of worthy things to do these next 40 days until the election (not necessarily all, but vary them from day to day, or go for broke on as many as you can):

  • Go to confession (K of C has great guide if it has been a while; and here is an excellent examination of conscience). Go frequently and be sure to thank God for the Sacrament.
  • Fasting. Can you go on 3 meals a day with no snacks, or less? Or, eat more modestly the next 40 days.
  • Abstaining. You can abstain from many things from TV and podcasts to certain favorite drinks, deserts, smoking, alcohol, and other things. Even where you can't completely abstain, go with less of something. Offer that suffering up.
  • Visiting. Is there someone that could use your company? How about an elderly neighbor or relative? Offer up the sacrifice of that time for the sake of a good outcome of the election.
  • Almsgiving. Gas prices are high, food is high and in these times families and parishes are struggling to make ends meet. When we struggle with our own households, imagine how parishes are struggling. Donations go down at these times in everything from foodbanks to parishes at times when money, food and other items are needed most. Can't give money? Clean out your cupboard or closet and donate those things. Offer up that time and sacrifice for a good outcome to the election.
  • Work. Whatever you are doing, lift your thoughts to God and offer Him the work you are doing for a good outcome to this election.
  • Apostolate work. Help out at some apostolate or do some kind of service work and offer it up. From soup kitchens to praying in front of clinics, it can all be done and offered to God. The 40 days for life group begins a nationwide effort for the unborn Wednesday (see info at the Archdiocese of Denver website). Offer that time up for the unborn, as well as for the election which will strongly affect the rights of the unborn for good or for bad. Go pray in front of an abortion clinic during hours of operation with groups like the Helpers of God's Precious Infants during these 40 days.

Do you have other ideas? Please add them to the combox.

It is important to note that our sacrifices should be kept to ourselves and despite our sufferings, we should not let others on to them. Children will learn from their parents. Recruit your children to pray and offer sacrifices for the Election. Click on the pic below for meditation and see more references below.

More: Catholic Vote Resources (scroll down for various considerations relevant to the Catholic Vote)

Below is a prayer to Mary, asking for her intercession. John Martignoni explains in this 2 minute apologetics YouTube clip Catholic thought on praying to Mary and the saints.

An Election Prayer to Mary

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care. Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection. Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God’s law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

Trusting in your most powerful intercession, we pray…

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To thee do we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church
Kansas City, Missouri

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!