“You Be You”

US Presidential ElectionI sit here listening to one of my favorite reflective CD’s (Carl Herrgesell’s Reflections in the Key of Peace), playing in the background as I attempt to put little letters together and form words on a blank page. We are days away from a national election that has stirred in me an unprecedented level of both embarrassment and shame at the choices that stand before us.

Really? Are these two the best we have to offer in a hope for a better America?

We are more divided than I can recall in my over fifty years of life. I am reminded of something one of my kids used against me when she was in high school.  I was presenting an alternative to the infraction that had been committed using my usual style of discipline, “lecture into a coma,” when she looked at me squarely and said, “Why don’t you just be you, and I’ll be me.”  I believe sadly, this is the mantra many have adopted in these United States. Me, myself, and I, are what is most important. We are the only thing that matter in our universe, and everyone else just needs to get on board or sit in the penalty box.

I realize I sound cynical and whiney. “Frustrated” doesn’t begin to describe what I and many others are feeling at the impending calamity.

This is where we find ourselves and where the enemy does his best work. Divide and conquer. There is division in the Church, division in the ranks of humanity, division worldwide. How did we slip so far, in what seems like record time? Are we better off now than we were as a society some fifty years ago? A tree is measured by its fruit, and this fruit is putrid and decayed.

Our little Respect Life group at church has been busy. We have hand cut over 4000 tiny white crosses for a display that will fill our Spanish-style courtyard at church in a sea of whit, the likes that have never been experienced there before. Pro-life topics simply weren’t discussed under the guise of being “too political.” (I imagine this is the case in many parishes nationwide). Thus many of our parishioners have never had a moral teaching or understanding of the Church’s stance on abortion and why. New pastor, new possibilities.

One of the local pastors at the cathedral where the weekend mass is televised, gave this incredible and insightful homily on October 2nd. This has been an amazing gift to share and I encourage you to take the twenty minutes to watch and listen to it. Please pass it on.

We have a long way to go as humanity, and we continue to pray for conversions. It is our hope that one day no one will want to use the so-called reproductive services at places like Planned Parenthood.

As I try and reconcile the choices that are in print on my ballot, I have come to the decision that helps me connect the little black arrow that lets me live with myself. I am not so much voting for him, as voting against her and all that the Democratic platform currently stands for.

A comment was made recently on my one of my Facebook threads stating the person was “pro-life” but could not vote for Trump as he “threatened to use nukes.” We must be careful with all the antics, smoke and mirrors, and distractions meant to derail us from what is truly at stake. “What if’s” should not take precedence over what is, has been, and will continue to be.

The reality is that this death toll has claimed almost sixty million little innocent lives. Mrs. Clinton has promised to continue the slaughter of the innocents, appoint pro-choice judges, and radically change the face of the globe in a way never before witnessed in all time and history. The devastation she has planned, and has no reservations in telling us about, should send shivers up our back and terrify our very souls. She will continue the work begun by our current president. As Catholics, for the love of God, humanity, and especially the mothers and their unborn children, we cannot in good conscience, let this continue.

I recognize the ugly choice that leaves us with. In addition to intense prayer and fasting, it is our only recourse at this juncture. I find solace in whom Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with, and what he has promised to do.

After that we leave everything up to God. As Father, He will do what He needs to do to teach his wayward, hard-hearted children a lesson, just like He had to do with the Israelites who just couldn’t make the right choice.

“I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to him” (Duet 30:19-20).

Barbara Lishko works full time as a Lay Catholic Marriage Minister. She and her husband Mark, an ordained Deacon, have been married for 35 years and are blessed with five young adult children, whose lives grow and expand through marriage and grandchildren.

Through the inspiration of her family, work in the Catholic Church and wacky life experiences her dream of writing was born. She is the recipient of the Diocese of Phoenix St Terese of Lisieux award. Barbara can be reached at blishko_58@yahoo.com