On Tuesday night, November 6, I woke up to a tapping on my shoulder; I had asked one of the consecrated who was staying up to watch the results of the election to wake me up when there was a winner. I had to gone to bed that night a little more nervous about the election than I had been but I just kept telling myself, “Don’t worry, there is no way we will make the same mistakes we did last time after everything that has happened these last four years.”
With that being said I was completely unprepared for what I heard. In that moment my heart fell and hoping against all hope that she was just playing a very cruel joke on me I asked her, “Are you serious?!” but seeing her face I new the answer. As I laid in my bed with tears streaming down my face I wondered how our country, the land of the free and home of the brave, could put personal gain, tax cuts, “free” healthcare over life, marriage, religious freedom. At this point there was no way I was going to fall back asleep without figuring out what happened. I got out of bed and went to the closest computer.
As I walked downstairs thoughts were flying through my mind; there must be a problem, there was probably some kind of voting fraud, what about all of the prayers and sacrifices? When I got to the computer my fear was confirmed by the facts, I was speechless! After a few minutes I went back to bed.
“Lord what was going on?” Suddenly I had a flashback from earlier that day. We had gone to “adoration for the nation” that Bishop Tobin had organized for the diocese to pray for the good of this country. Kneeling in front of Christ praying my rosary I thought “it is clear how this election is going to go. It is obvious who is the better candidate and Lord you are going to let him win,” but in my heart I felt Christ say to me, “and if it doesn’t go as you expect, will you still trust me?” I looked at Christ in the Eucharist and said, “of course I trust in you” but still in my mind I thought I knew what the results would be.
When we got back to the house I was talking to one of my friends and she told me, “You know, I have decided that no matter who wins I am going to be part of the solution, I mean both candidates will have there own problems so I will be part of the solution.” That stuck with me as I fell asleep. The next morning on my way to morning prayers I stopped by the computer again. A few weeks ago a nun from Massachusetts told us to pray because they were trying to legalize assisted suicide (AKA murder in the disguise of “compassion”) and if it passed the nursing home her order runs would have serious problems. With a little hope in America left I thought it would be for sure rejected but the surprises kept coming! At 6:30 in the morning the day after the elections it was still too close to call!
That was the end of the line for me! How can something like that be “to close to call”?! By the time I got to the chapel I was anything but in a peaceful serene prayerful attitude. I spent my whole morning meditation venting to Jesus. I just didn’t understand and quite frankly I was scared and angry. Scared because the election portrayed very well how low our society has fallen and where our priorities are. Angry that we could let this happen. I still didn’t understand why God “didn’t listen to my prayers” or at least not the way I wanted him to. Luckily for the rest of the people in the house we were on retreat that day so they didn’t experience the full blast of my rage, unfortunately I cannot say the same for Jesus. I wasn’t angry with him but I was confused and incredibly upset with my fellow Americans.
After breakfast I made my way up to the chapel, that is when Christ “struck me with the lightning bolt”. After letting me pour my heart out to him he helped me to open my eyes and realize that 1. My prayers were answered and 2. There is a reason this election happened in the year of faith. While all this time I thought my efforts were in vain I realized that Christ used my prayers and sacrifices in many ways. Maybe someone had the courage to vote according to his conscience, maybe one of the politicians had a small change of heart, maybe people’s eyes were opened and they want to do something to change things. I will never know but that is where faith comes in. What is faith anyway but being able to believe without seeing.
As Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who believe but have not seen” (John 20:29). For many of us it may be hard to see the fruits of our prayer now or to see how any good can come from this but this is exactly where our faith must lead us to believe without seeing. There is a phrase that has helped me a lot and it is when we ask God for an increase of virtue he answers that prayer by giving us opportunities to live virtue. How many times have we said “Lord, increase my faith?”
I think that right now we do not have to go around seeking opportunities to live faith because it is right in front of us. Our Lord knows the pain and confusion we might be going through, I mean people chose Barabbas over him and he is the Son of God, and we are only speaking about two human beings here. But nevertheless, after the crucifixion came the resurrection. Even if we have to endure the pain of Holy Saturday we can’t forget about Easter Sunday!
So let us all resolve, as my friend said, to be part of the solution! To not sit back and have a pity party like I did that first day but let us be active in being the change we want to see. None of us knows what the next four years will bring although we might have our speculations, but no matter what we cannot lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. I invite anyone who wants to to join me in offering a concrete sacrifice for the next four years in reparation for all the sins that will be committed as a result of this election and the choices made and for this country. God bless America and may she once again become the land of the free and the home of the brave!