Governments and administrations, whether led by Democrats, Republicans, or other political affiliates, all come and go. However, the kingdom of God is timeless, and far surpasses any political turmoil that may arise. After all, as Jesus reminds us, “My kingdom does not belong to this world” (John 8:36).
Jesus – neither Democrat, nor Republican, nor Socialist, nor Communist, nor any other political designation, promises something far greater than mere ideological machinations: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27). As Catholics, we must remember to pray for our political leaders on both (better said, all) sides of the aisle, whether or not we support their initiatives, that they may be drawn to do God’s will within their respective roles. Here are seven quotes from prominent American Catholics that should serve to help calm political disagreement when (or perhaps even before) it arises.
1. “In this post-election hour, we could all use a little hope and inspiration. No matter the outcome, let’s remember that Jesus is the true ruler and purpose in our lives.”
– Mary Rezac, “Quotes to dig you out of the post-election pit of despair,” Catholic News Agency Blog (November 8, 2016)
2. “Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree.”
– Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, “Coming Together as Faithful Citizens for the Common Good,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (November 9, 2016)
3. “The American people have spoken. I pledge my prayers for those elected and I ask the Lord to enlighten and sustain them in their service to all the people of our country. I also pray for those who held opposing positions, that they continue to participate in our democracy as we strive to work together in respectful harmony for the common good.”
– Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, “Statement of Archbishop Blase J. Cupich on the November 2016 U.S. Elections,” Archdiocese of Chicago (November 9, 2016)
4. “In an age when ‘tolerance’ seems to be the last recognized virtue, there is very little real tolerance. . . Authentic tolerance involves entering the experience of the other. Not just halfheartedly but with real effort. Unifiers tolerate in the true sense of the word. They reach out. They ask questions. They try to understand. They don’t necessarily do this in order to find complete agreement, but in order to empathize, in order to love.”
– Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, “In times of distress: Be a unifier, not a divider,” Aleteia (November 15, 2016)
5. “If we prepare ourselves well, then when the opportunity to build bridges comes, the Lord will find us ready to do his work. It can be daunting to look at the hostile, hurting world, and we can be nostalgic for other times that seem easier than ours. But in reality, this is an exciting and fruitful time in the Church. The last three popes have exhorted us time and again to preach the Gospel with joy.”
– Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, “Building a Bridge to Others,” Archdiocese of Philadelphia (January 5, 2017)
6. “Today we too often look at the Church as a struggle between left and right, and we invest a lot of energy into trying to determine which side is winning. If we judge the Church – and the pope – in political terms, we not only risk doing harm to the unity of the Church; we risk missing the point of the Church altogether.”
– Tom Hoopes, “No, the Trump presidency will not be like the Francis pontificate,” Aleteia (January 16, 2017)
7. “In these times of turmoil, give our president direction.”
– From the “Prayer for the Inauguration” video by the Apostolate for Family Consecration, via Deacon Greg Kandra at Aleteia (January 18, 2017)