Post-election woes, divisive ideas must be meant with hope
We’ve voted, and Donald Trump will be our new president.
It’s finally all over — I guess. Throughout the presidential campaigns, the major candidates and extreme supporters have painted pictures outside of the realm of reality. They have moved away from the virtue of hope by falling to extremes of presumption and despair.
The picture they presented was: “The candidate I support is flawless, and, if elected, he/she will make America perfect.”
This extreme supporter holds their candidate to the level of God.
The extreme supporters view their opponents as the devil: “The candidate(s) I oppose are full of flaws and, if elected, will destroy America.” Now, these pictures that they have painted in their minds and hearts have come to life because Donald Trump has been elected.
To his supporters, the second coming is upon us and to his opposition, doom, gloom and destruction. Neither of these ideas are fully rational and, especially from a Catholic perspective, neither lead to internal peace.
How can one say that such ideas are irrational? It is evident that extremist thoughts are irrational by their behavior. We have those who are being threatened, those who are lying about being threatened, those who are vandalizing and those who get up and leave without fighting for what they believe in. This is not to say that all supporters or opponents of President-elect Trump give into these extremes. They might lean toward an extreme but not adopt the extreme as their own.
What is the responsibility of the Christian in light of such chaos? What is the responsibility in light of such unrest?
The first responsibility is giving thanks to God. This remedies the extremes of hope. Regardless if the election went our way or not, giving thanks pulls us away from presumption or despair. Giving thanks, for the presumptuous, humbles them and allows them realize that they do not achieve any task without the grace of God. For the despaired, giving thanks allows them to bear their sufferings with God. As American Catholics, we must give thanks to God for the President-elect we have received.
This is not to say that we agree with Trump, but it is to acknowledge that God is bigger than Trump’s weaknesses and strengths. Even if the world were truly coming to an end, we must give thanks always.
The second responsibility of an American Catholic is not to put hope in politics. Parties and candidates can sway as the wind does. If we put hope in a party or a candidate, we do not have the real virtue of hope at all and internal peace is easily lost. Truth, instead, is steady and keeps the ship on the correct path. We must put our hope in Truth, Himself. By placing our hope in God, we are placing our trust in someone greater.
The third responsibility is to uphold the good and admonish the evil of Trump’s presidency. Good is always at battle with evil but the war between them is already won. Evil is dependent on good because evil is the perversion of good. There will be aspects of his presidency that will be just and unjust. When injustices are found, we must fight against them, but we must not lose our inner peace. If we lose our peace because of injustices, we have certainly given up hope in God. He is greater than these injustices. We will have also given up on the kingdom to come.
Regardless of the opposing stances seen in our world today, remember this is the way of the world — not the way of God. We must trust in God and offer this to others. Hope and peace cannot be won in our hearts if we do not pursue a relationship with Him. This world offers only counterfeits to hope and the only place to find solace is before God in prayer.
Mass at Our Lady of Wisdom is at noon Monday through Friday, and adoration (a time to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament) is Monday through Friday at 9-10 a.m. and Monday through Thursday at 8:30-9:30 p.m. Do not be a stranger to Hope, Himself.