Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
October 6, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 139 with its powerful image of God, the Life Knitter.
This psalm is hauntingly beautiful as it carries us in prayer to the moment of our own incarnation. We are awed by the thought of God touching us into life deep in the darkness of our mother’s womb.
Paul, in our first reading, says that even from that first moment, he was “set apart and called through grace.”
Every one of us receives the same divine mark as Paul. Every one of our lives is known full well in God’s love:
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
Praying with this psalm, I am profoundly aware of the “life issues” at the root of U.S. culture and politics which face us in this election. I place myself before my Creator as I grapple with my abhorrence of abortion and my deep commitment to a “whole life” morality.
The document I share below has guided me as I try to faithfully discern the best moral choice in voting. As the document points out, “Faith does not fit into political parties neatly”. Indeed there is currently no party platform that fully and perfectly responds to the moral demands of our faith. Yet that faith requires that we participate in the political process of moving toward such a response.
Faithful voters are presented with a dilemma in the fullest sense of that word, that is, ” a circumstance in which a choice must be made between two or more alternatives that seem equally undesirable.”
Still, it is not enough to abandon our discernment to a single-issue mentality.
Besides considering the whole range of life and justice concerns, we must calculate the moral character of those we choose to govern and set national policy:
- their honesty, compassion, decency, respect, toward all people;
- their capacity for mutuality, dialogue, and peace-building;
- their “economics morality”, (i.e. who shares in the basic rights necessary for a decent life)
- their vision of democracy, human rights, and international power
- their compatibility with the total legacy of Catholic social teaching
As we pray with Psalm 139 today, let us bring our concerns and hopes to God and ask for inspiration and courage.
Click below for the voting discernment document Equally Sacred Priorities
Poem: Invocation by Everett Hoagland
(Originality from Philadelphia, PA, Hoagland was Poet Laureate of New Bedford, MA 1994-1998. He is Professor Emeritus at UMass Dartmouth.)
Architect of icebergs, snowflakes,
crystals, rainbows, sand grains, dust motes, atoms.
Mason whose tools are glaciers, rain, rivers, ocean.
Chemist who made blood
of seawater, bone of minerals in stone, milk
of love. Whatever
You are, I know this,
Spinner, You are everywhere, in All The Ever-
Changing Above, whirling around us.
Yes, in the loose strands,
in the rough weave of the common
cloth threaded with our DNA on hubbed, spoked
Spinning Wheel that is this world, solar system, galaxy,
Help us to see ourselves in all creation,
and all creation in ourselves, ourselves in one another.
Remind those of us who like connections
made with similes, metaphors, symbols
all of us are, everything is
Remind us as oceans go, so go we. As the air goes, so go we.
As other life forms on Earth go, so go we.
As our planet goes, so go we. Great Poet,
who inspired In The Beginning was The Word . . . ,
edit our thought so our ethics are our politics,
and our actions the afterlives of our words.”
Music: I Cannot Hide from You
One thought on “Psalm 139: Life Knitter”
good questions for the candidates. As to abortion, I think we ask the wrong question when we say should it be legal or not. The important question is why women have abortions and how can we assist women to support them so that they can have the child – such assists such as paid maternity leave and subsidized child care. Since antiquity, there have been abortions. Feminists for Life, a prolife group I have been a member of for 30 years, stresses the need to support women and families.
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