We Cannot Vote for Anyone Who Supports Intrinsically Evil Things
October 17, 2004 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I (Exodus 17:8-13) Reading II (2 Timothy 3:14-4:2)
Gospel (St. Luke 18:1-8)
In the second reading today, Saint Paul tells Timothy that he is to remain faithful to what he has believed since infancy. We have been taught since the time we were born what the truth is all about. For those who were born and raised Catholic, we have been given the fullness of the truth on a silver platter. Unfortunately, today, as Saint Paul said so many years ago about a particular individual, many have made shipwreck of their faith. They have been given everything and they have thrown it away. The reason for most people throwing their faith away is political correctness or selfishness and greed; it is one or the other. Saint Paul tells Timothy that he has to continue to preach the Gospel in its fullness whether it is convenient or inconvenient, in season and out of season, whether people want to hear it or not. We have to preach it and we have to live it.
So there are a couple of things we need to think about given the time in which we are now living. Number one, on the universal level, we are not going to be able to turn things around. The time has come and God is about to intervene in the world, and that is not going to be stopped any longer. The opportunity was there for people to pray and do penance, and people chose against God instead of for Him. There will be no turning that [God’s intervention] around any longer. The only thing we can do now is to continue, as Our Lord made clear in the Gospel reading, to pray always without wearying. That prayer is for two reasons: number one, to shorten the time that we are going to have to endure; and, number two, to remain faithful in the midst of what is going to be the most horrendous thing anyone on the face of the earth has ever encountered.
The Day of the Lord is at hand, and there is no more sticking one’s head in the sand. It is not going to be just a one-time event; it will end that way but it is not going to begin that way. The purification has already begun and it is going to increase in intensity. People have continually turned their backs on God. But for those who truly want to be Catholic, we have a choice. We have to choose Jesus Christ, and we have to choose to remain faithful in the midst of it.
The only thing that is going to make any difference right now is prayer. This is something that we need to understand in the very depths of our being. The only thing that is going to make a difference now is prayer. All the running around and doing all the things that people want to do to try to convince themselves that they are doing well is done. It does not matter how much we want to convince ourselves – the only one that matters is Jesus Christ. And if we are not deeply rooted in prayer, we will be lost. Anyone who thinks they have the strength to remain faithful all by themselves has been duped by Satan. Our help is in the Lord. Our strength is from the Lord, and that is the only place. We have been playing this game all too long of trying to suggest that it is okay to be Catholic but not really live it and not believe it. All too many Catholics have been trying to play this game of saying that they do not really have to go to Mass, they do not need to pray, they do not need to believe in the Blessed Sacrament, they do not need to believe in the moral teachings of the Church, they can do whatever they want, they can be worldly like the rest of the people around them. And they are going to continue to try to convince themselves of that.
The Lord made very clear that justice is going to be served, and it will be served swiftly. God has been exceedingly patient, but the day has come and the patience is no longer there. If we want the mercy of God for ourselves, for our families, and for those who need a conversion of heart, prayer is the only means by which it is going to be obtained. And prayer is the only means by which any of us is going to remain faithful to Jesus Christ. The battle is God’s; the first reading should have made that very clear. As long as Moses had his hands up bringing the blessing of God upon the Israelites, they had the better part of the battle. But when he got tired and let his arms down, the enemy had the better part of the battle. So Jesus told us to pray without growing weary. If we get weary and let our prayer down, we are going to lose. But if by the strength of God we can continue to pray, then we will remain faithful, then we will win the battle. This is a battle for souls, but people have lost that understanding because we want money and other things, and that has become more important than human souls.
Now, having said that, each one of us still has to remain faithful, not only in prayer but in the way that we live our lives. In a little over a week, we all have to go to the polling place and we have to make a choice. We have heard all the political rhetoric, people trying to convince us that you can be a Catholic but you can still be evil and do evil things and vote for things that are intrinsically evil. It has even been published in Catholic papers to tell us that it is okay to do these horrendous things. It is not. There are several things we need to be aware of as we walk toward the voting booth. There are several things which are intrinsically evil that no one who is Catholic can vote for. So you need to keep this in mind as you go forth to vote: Abortion, euthanasia, fetal or embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, or this hideous thing that they like to call “homosexual marriage”, these things are all intrinsically evil (that means they are evil in themselves and nothing and no one can ever make them right) and we cannot vote for anyone running for public office who is in favor of these things. The only exception to that rule is if there are two candidates who are both in favor of something that is intrinsically evil; if you have not a third option to choose from, then you can vote for the one who is the better of the two. That is, let us say that one is in favor of three things that are intrinsically evil and the other is in favor of only one thing that is intrinsically evil, then you can vote for the one who would be in favor of only the one thing that is intrinsically evil. My own way of looking at it personally is that I will not vote for either of them if that is the case because I do not want to cast my vote for anyone who is in favor of anything that is truly evil.
And let us make no mistake; if we willfully vote for someone who is publicly acknowledged as being in favor of things that are intrinsically evil, it is a mortal sin. We can no longer make claims like, “Well, my family has always voted this way so I have to do the same.” That is a bunch of nonsense! We have to vote for people who want to bring about a true good. And we have to use our minds; we cannot just mindlessly walk in and say, “Well, this is the way that I’ve always voted. I don’t know what anybody stands for, but I’ll just vote this way because I always have.” We need to look things up, we need to find out where people stand, and we need to vote with our conscience.
That, again, has become a problem these days. We have many priests who have been telling people, “Just do whatever your conscience tells you.” That is true – provided that your conscience is well formed. The formation of conscience has to come from the Lord, that is, by looking at the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and of His Church and forming our consciences in accordance with those truths. Conscience does not mean doing whatever I feel; “conscience” means doing what is right. That means we cannot – ever or in any circumstance – uphold something that is intrinsically evil. And so I highly recommend to you to do a little bit of study in the next week, to look at the candidates (both on the national level and on the local level in your particular ward) and find out what they stand for. If they are in favor of anything that is intrinsically evil – abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or homosexual “marriage” – we cannot vote for these people because they are in favor of things that are completely contrary to the law of God.
We must remain faithful, whether it is convenient or inconvenient. In the midst of all the political correctness, all the pressures that are applied from so many areas, we have an obligation in all things to remain faithful to Jesus Christ. The time has come. Regardless of the political situation and regardless of the world situation, we must remain faithful. We must pray and we must realize that our faith is going to be tested, as it has never been before. It begins with simple things, like “Are we going to choose evil or are we going to choose good?” If we are not even able to pass the most simple test that is completely black-and-white, good-or-evil (there is not an in-between when it comes to such things), then how do we think we are going to remain faithful as things progress? Right now the Lord is looking at our hearts, and He is going to test them to see if we will remain faithful to Him. Whether it is in the voting booth, in the workplace, in our families, on the streets, or in front of the Blessed Sacrament, He is going to try us, He is going to test us. He is going to see if we will remain faithful to what we have been taught from our infancy. Remain faithful in the midst of the trials and difficulties and pray always without wearying because right now that is our only hope to save our own souls and to be able to save as many as we can. We will not turn back the hand of God any longer – the day has come – now our only hope is to save as many as we can.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.