How I’ll spend Election Night

I’m a political junkie. Not as much as I used to be but still more than I care to be. Since the 2000 election it has been my custom to sit in a comfortable chair with a glass of water (or bourbon, or wine, or cup of coffee…just depends I suppose) with my laptop on and the television remote control at the ready. Some nights I’m up all night (see 2000), or I’m done early (see 2008). In 2004 I was up pretty late as I recall, but when things stalled  out in Ohio I went to bed. And so it was that this year I planned to do the same.

Only at the last minutes of this election season I seem to have changed my mind. I voted early (Monday) as I have in every local and national election for over 12 years. I missed my very first local primary election once because I couldn’t get away from the office and have received an absentee ballot ever since. As long as we have free, open and (hopefully) honest elections I will not miss the opportunity to vote.

Instead, I plan to walk up to my parish at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in east Lincoln, Nebraska, and sit amongst the dim lighting and candles to think and to pray.

I plan to pray Vespers for tonight (see full text below) because I find some of the psalms and readings to be especially relevant to our post-election America.

Psalm 125 in the psalmody reminds me of where my trust truly lies. Not with men or a party. And that when I experience hostility or contempt I am never alone. From Pope Benedict XVI’s commentary on this Psalm:

Even when the believer feels lonely and is surrounded by risks and hostility, his faith must be serene because the Lord is always with us; his power surrounds us and protects us.

[snip]

…the Psalm instills deep trust in the soul. This is a powerful help in facing difficult situations when the external crisis of loneliness, irony and contempt of believers is associated with the interior crisis that consists of discouragement, mediocrity and weariness. We know this situation, but the Psalm tells us that if we have trust, we are stronger than these evils.

Psalm 131 reminds me tonight to remain humble should the candidate or candidates I support win. And that even if they do win, my trust does not fully lie with them. Of this psalm the Holy Father says:

Humble trust … is opposed by pride. John Cassian, a fourth-fifth century Christian writer, warned the faithful of the danger of this vice that “destroys all the virtues overall and does not only attack the tepid and the weak, but principally those who have forced their way to the top”.

The canticle from Revelation is a reminder of the One who remains in control and that no amount of my dwelling upon news reports on my laptop or television while seated in my chair will change things. Of this passage Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote:

Christ is the great interpreter and lord of history, the revealer of the hidden plan of divine action which unfolds within it.

The Scripture reading from Romans is a message for all Americans, no matter the candidate they supported and gives us guidance on how we are to react towards one another going forward. And in the Intercessions we pray and respond:

O God, in your hands are the hearts of the powerful; bestow your wisdom upon government leaders,
may they draw from the fountain of your counsel and please you in thought and deed.
You are the hope of your people, Lord.

Since Evening Prayer takes around 10-15 minutes I will have lots of time to consider other things on my mind, perhaps pray a rosary and for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, or just sit and enjoy the silence. And then I’m sure I’ll go home, open my new bottle of Four Roses bourbon, and sneak a peek at the networks to see what’s going on.

If you’re in the area and wish to join me at St. John’s tonight by all means do so. Or join me in spirit from wherever you are. Everyone’s invited. To use a favorite phrase of political parties: God has a big tent.

Just breathe, America. We’re going to be okay.

LITURGY OF THE HOURS
November 6, 2012
_____

Evening Prayer for Tuesday of the 31st week of Ordinary Time

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit;
let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Love divine all loves excelling”; Words: Charles Wesley, 1747. Music: John Zundel, 1870

PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: The Lord surrounds his people with his strength.

Psalm 125
The Lord, guardian of his people

Peace to God’s true Israel (Galatians 6:16).

Those who put their trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion, that cannot be shaken,
that stands for ever.

Jerusalem! The mountains surround her,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and for ever.

For the scepter of the wicked shall not rest
over the land of the just
for fear that the hands of the just
should turn to evil.

Do good, Lord, to those who are good,
to the upright of heart;

but the crooked and those who do evil,
drive them away!
On Israel, peace!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
– as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer
Surround your people, Lord, within the safety of your Church, which you preserve on its rock foundation. Do not let us stretch out our hands to evil deeds, nor be destroyed by the insidious snares of the enemy, but bring us to share the lot of the saints in light.

Antiphon: The Lord surrounds his people with his strength.

Antiphon 2:Unless you acquire the heart of a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Psalm 131
Childlike trust in God

Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart (Matthew 11:29).

O Lord, my heart is not proud
nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great
nor marvels beyond me.

Truly I have set my soul
in silence and peace.
As a child has rest in its mother’s arms,
even so is my soul.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
both now and for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer
Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, you declared that whoever receives a little child in your name receives you, and you promised your kingdom to those who are like children. Never let pride reign in our hearts, but may the Father’s compassion reward and embrace all who willingly bear your gentle yoke.

Antiphon: Unless you acquire the heart of a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Antiphon 3: Lord, you have made us a kingdom and priests for God our Father.

Canticle — Revelation 4:11; 5:9, 10, 12
Redemption hymn

O Lord our God, you are worthy
to receive glory and honor and power.

For you have created all things;
by your will they came to be and were made.

Worthy are you, O Lord,
to receive the scroll and break open its seals.

For you were slain;
with your blood you purchased for God
men of every race and tongue,
of every people and nation.

You made of them a kingdom,
and priests to serve our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power and riches,
wisdom and strength,
honor and glory and praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Antiphon: Lord, you have made us a kingdom and priests for God our Father.

READING Romans 12:9-12

Your love must be sincere. Detest what is evil, cling to what is good. Love one another with the affection of brothers. Anticipate each other in showing respect. Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORY

Through all eternity, O Lord, your promise stands unshaken.
Through all eternity, O Lord, your promise stands unshaken.

Your faithfulness will never fail;
your promise stands unshaken.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Through all eternity, O Lord, your promise stands unshaken.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Antiphon: My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Antiphon: My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

INTERCESSIONS

God establishes his people in hope. Let us cry out to him with joy:
You are the hope of your people, Lord.

We thank you, Lord,
because in Christ you have given us all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
You are the hope of your people, Lord.

O God, in your hands are the hearts of the powerful; bestow your wisdom upon government leaders,
may they draw from the fountain of your counsel and please you in thought and deed.
You are the hope of your people, Lord.

The talents of artists reflect your splendor,
may their work give the world hope and joy.
You are the hope of your people, Lord.

You do not allow us to be tested beyond our ability,
strengthen the weak and raise up the fallen.
You are the hope of your people, Lord.

Through your Son you promised to raise men up on the Last Day,
do not forget those who have died.
– You are the hope of your people, Lord.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

Lord,
may our evening prayer rise up to you,
and your blessing come down upon us.
May your help and salvation be ours
now and through all eternity.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s