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Centurio Epistula - Voting Guide

In the Gospel appointed for the 12th Sunday after Trinity, the people observing Jesus healing the deaf mute said of him, "he hath done all things well" [Mk 7:37]. Jesus set the standard for us in doing Good for he alone was "Good" [Mt 19:17]. Over a century ago, Charles M. Sheldon wrote a novel "In His Steps" encouraging Christians to follow Jesus bearing good fruit after the model of Jesus. The question posed is, "What would Jesus do?, and What would Jesus have me do?"

As the elections in the United States approach, U.S. Centurions will have the opportunity to ask these questions when they go to vote. St. Paul encouraged us to exercise good citizenship, and Jesus told us to "let your light so shine before men, that they may see you good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." [Mt 5:16]. Our vote is secret so that no one may see the work in the ballot; however Jesus sees not only the vote, but what is in our hearts. All can see the result of the collective work by the people in election of a certain candidate.

Catholic Answers, has published a Voters Guide. Although not approved by the American Roman Catholic bishops, it is being widely distributed. In it they list five areas of concern that are related to the sanctity of life and the sacrament of marriage. I believe all orthodox Christians should be concerned with these issues. The guide says, "Catholics have a moral obligation to promote the common good through the exercise of their voting privileges. It is not just civil authorities who have responsibility for a country. Service of the common good requires citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community . This means citizens should participate in the political process at the ballot box.

I encourage all Centurions to vote in their local and national elections, and to consider each candidate's stand on all issues that are important to the Church Militant. In voting, keep in mind our motto: Fear God and do what is right, and the words of St. James, "faith, if it hath no works is dead [and] him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" [James 2:17 and 4:17].

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