Election Day Marching Orders

I don’t write lots of political posts because everyone else is  so much better at it. (Example to follow)

The background: months ago, while researching a an article on third orders, I was put in contact with Harold O. Koenig, a delightful convert, ex-episcopalian priest, and delightful third order Dominican who cheers the hearts of his facebook friends with offbeat humor and right on the mark spirituality all infused with that undercurrent of joy which Harold tells me is a Dominican charism.   He formed a “Novena for the Election” facebook group, the members of which have been encouraging one another since 9/11 (56 days before  the election) to pray either a daily rosary (or another prayer o/ penance comittment) with the intention of ending the Obama presidency.

Yesterday morning, the Office of Readings started us on the book of Macchabees. Grim stuff. As I read of King Antiochus’ relentless efforts to strip the Jews of all religious identity, I found myself saying, “Please Lord, don’t let this be a prophecy about the results of the election. Don’t let this happen to us, much as we might deserve it for our sins.”

Then came this morning’s message from Harold on the Novena for Election group. It was perfect on so many levels. Here it is.


The last breath before the battle.

We need to get our expectations AND our virtues in order.

Our enemy loathes freedom. In recent years he has mounted, among many assaults, an assault on the election process. SO we can reasonably expect that it WON’T be over when it’s over. It is in our enemy’s interest to make the demos (NOT the party, I mean the Δημος, the people of the polity) hold the election process in doubt and contempt. So be ready to be frustrated.

It is good to distinguish what we can control from what we cannot, and to hold the loving Will of Providence in the forefront of our minds when the dice are rolling.

We also, IMHO, should be humbly grateful for such moral clarity as we may have. Certainly to the extent we have any at all, it is by divine gift without which we would stumble about bumping into things.

There are two battles: One is being waged in polling places. The other is being waged throughout the cosmos. One is fought for control of the polity; the other for the salvation of souls. Remember which is more important.

Many of those who oppose us are struggling to do what they think to be right. We must honor that aspect of their intentions even as we deplore the error in their thinking. We must continually pray for that charity without which all virtue is empty.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in,…” remembering that each particular soul is precious in God’s sight, and that the obligation to live evangelical lives will end neither with our victory nor with our defeat.

Whatever happens in the next day and half — and in the following weeks, the song of the chorus will not be silenced: He SHALL reign forever and ever.

All I can add is, Amen.


Daria Sockey


Daria Sockey is a freelance writer from western Pennsylvania. Her articles have appeared in many Catholic publications. She authored several of the original Ignatius Press Faith and Life catechisms in the 1980s, and more recently wrote five study guides for saints' lives DVDs distributed by Ignatius Press. She now writes regularly for the newly revamped Catholic Digest. Her newest book, The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, will be published by Servant Books this spring. Feel Free to email her at thesockeys@gmail.com

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  • Jason

    The other is being waged in the human heart. I think that it is wrong to make it sound like the battle is always “outside”.

  • Tuesday Morning Prayer was also marching orders. The Psalms were hand picked by the all knowing God to be read this am!

  • Brad

    The brouhaha that is election week is happening during the octave of All Souls, when there are plenary indulgences available, at our hands, through efforts of charity by us, for the poor souls who are languishing in purgatory. We will be there at any moment, ourselves, and will also be only nominally, if that, remembered and helped, by our brethren here on Earth, who are obsessing over the world’s cares, over the plow and not the Christ who calls us away from it NOW. Coincidence that this very week of grace is obfuscated by worldly cares? All Christians must read the account of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man. We who are still enfleshed here on Earth are the rich man. Do we listen to the warnings from beyond? Do we beg pardon of God, so offended, on behalf of the poor souls and ourselves? Do we trust him like the lilies of the field and the birds of the air do? Or do we spurn his invitation to his feast NOW TODAY and wave our hands dismissively at him, claiming more important duties, worldly ones, of course. Rome is now dust and so is every civilization. So are the men who lived in them. Look upward, O my soul.

    Turn off the boob tube and stop placing not only your trust but also your obsessive fascination in princes and bureaucrats. Visit a cemetery and pray for the living and the dead, both of whom are equally alive before the God who is the God of the living.