In euchre and many other card games, a key question centers on how to play one's trump cards most effectively. Here are four recommendations for Catholics as they consider analogous questions about engaging the Trump administration:
- Pray always. If you like some of the President's actions, offer a prayer of thanksgiving. If you are confused by some of his comments, offer a prayer of petition. If you disagree in any way, offer a prayer of intercessor.
And, when it seems like the President might be more a foe than a friend, remember not what you have heard said, but what the Lord Jesus says to each of us: "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father" (Mt 5:44-45). At the very least, prayer always changes us for the better.
- Speak from common ground, regarding shared truths. Follow the courage and candor of Pope Francis' speech on religious liberty at Independence Hall in 2015. Freedom of religion means much more than mere freedom to worship; the free exercise of religion safeguards authentic diversity--plurality within our unity. As the Holy Father put it, "Our religious traditions remind us that, as human beings, we are called
to acknowledge an Other, who reveals our relational identity in the face
of every effort to impose 'a uniformity to which the egotism of the
powerful, the conformism of the weak, or the ideology of the utopian
would seek to impose on us' ..."
- Petition for positive change, in communion with the Bishops and all people of good will! Check out recent statements from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: Bishops Along Northern Mexico and Texas Border Issue Statement on Immigration; USCCB Chairmen and President of Catholic Relief Services Urge the Trump Administration to Care for Creation; finally, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop William E. Lori, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane have issued this Statement Urging President Trump to Fulfill his Promise to Protect Religious Liberty.
If you have not already done so, please join the leadership of the USCCB and urge President Trump to sign an executive order respecting religious freedom.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, pray for us--