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One evening a couple of weeks ago, I was filling up my car at a gas station and a man whom I did not know came up to me and said, “Father, I hope you are praying for our country!” I said that I am praying, and I hoped he was, too. His sentiment captured what many of us feel about our country, especially regarding the upcoming election. For conscientious Christians, many of us find our nation in a state of crisis.
Una tarde, hace un par de semanas, estaba llenando mi auto en una gasolinera y un hombre, al que no conocía, se me acercó y dijo: “¡Padre, espero que usted este orando por nuestro país!”, le dije que yo estaba orando, y esperaba que él también. Su sentimiento captura lo que muchos de nosotros sentimos acerca de nuestro país, especialmente en relación con las próximas elecciones. Para los cristianos con conciencia, muchos de nosotros encontramos nuestra nación en un estado de crisis.
This fall, I am giving presentations to all of the high school teachers, staff and administrators in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. These annual talks are dedicated to a regular cycle of topics. This year, the theme is morality. Lucky me! My guess is that disquisitions on doctrine or Church history or pastoral practice wouldn’t raise too many hackles, but ethics is practically guaranteed to rile people up, especially now when issues of same-sex marriage, transgenderism and assisted suicide are so present to the public consciousness.
Most Catholic fathers are “good dads” who work hard to provide their children’s necessities: shelter, food, education, etc. But in the baptism of their children, Catholic fathers vow to be great fathers — fathers who teach their children to know, love and serve Christ Jesus.
Over the past several months, many faithful Catholics have expressed deep dissatisfaction with this year’s presidential election, and understandably so: Neither major party candidate seems personally guided by a consistent ethic of life, and there are deep, concerning questions about the character of both.
The corporal works of mercy deal with care for a person’s bodily needs. Food and water stand at the top of the list, and clothing comes right behind (see Sir 29:21). Jesus described this merciful work as “naked and you clothed me” (Mt 25:36). Nakedness can mean nudity, the complete lack of clothing, but more often it means partial or inadequate clothing. Destitute is a synonym for nakedness because it usually is caused by extreme poverty.