Bishop Monforton has produced a five-minute video for guiding our voting decision-making. Please view it at the Diocese of Steubenville website: www.diosteub.org.
Thank you, again, to all who are serving as poll workers this week as well as all who are reaching out to neighbors and friends who need assistance to go to polling places for those who prefer to vote in person. We are also blessed to have the Guernsey County Board of Elections Office so conveniently located directly across from Theo’s Restaurant on Wheeling Avenue for having the early in-person voting option so accessible.
We must keep our nation in prayer at this time. It seems especially timely that our daily Mass reading this past week on Thursday was from Ephesians 6:10-20. There, St. Paul teaches that when we encounter divisiveness and bitterness in our midst – even if it’s with family members, co-workers and neighbors – “our struggle is not with flesh and blood.” We are to look beyond the disagreement with the other person and ask the Lord to ultimately be the one to heal that division. He continued to say that we struggle instead “with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” In other words, there are spiritual strongholds that try to sow divisiveness amongst us. We need to have spiritual protection, “the armor of God” surrounding us.
It is okay and even a gift from God to be able to see right and wrong on various issues and topics that we are debating and implementing. But, to keep the process from affecting our eternal salvation and that of others, we are to pray that each other – even someone we might see as a political “enemy” – be protected from those spiritual realities and be blessed abundantly with the graces of salvation. The friendship between the two former Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Ginsburg comes to mind. Though they differed radically in their views on almost every ruling, they had a sincere friendship. I could see them sincerely praying for each other’s eternal salvation, putting Ephesians 6 into practice for each other in effect even if not knowingly.
So, we plan to have some additional time for prayer on Monday evening, November 2nd. After the 6:30 p.m. Mass for All Souls Day at St. Benedict Church, we plan to begin Eucharistic Adoration and pray a “Patriotic Rosary” for blessings and protection on our nation. It is a time asking the Lord for graces of peace and for “spiritual armor” around our nation for Election Day, November 3rd, and afterwards, both for us locally and in other places where it seems that spiritual strongholds of divisiveness are “reigning.” We will continue Eucharistic Adoration on Monday evening, November 2nd, at least until 9:00 p.m. If we have at least two “adorers” in the Church we will continue that prayer vigil longer. For safety’s sake, after the Patriotic Rosary (concluding ~8:00 p.m.) we will only keep the ramp door unlocked.
Thank you to all who participated in the first weekend of the Knights of Columbus fundraising campaign for the two ultrasound machines for Open Arms Pregnancy Center. We raised just over $2,000 this first weekend. That puts us under $9,000 remaining to be raised, again depending upon how much the Noble County parishes will raise from their second collection.
Checks could be written to “Knights of Columbus Council #1641” with a note on the memo line of “ultrasound machines.” The donations could then be placed in the collection boxes at either the front or the back of St. Benedict Church or in the entrance of Sts. Peter & Paul in Lore City. You could also mail a donation directly to our parish offices with checks addressed in the same way. We will continue with in-pew envelopes for this weekend as well, and then have a couple of different fundraising appeals in November.
May the Lord continue to bless us with joy and peace as disciples of Jesus and to help us always to be ready for the gift of eternal life!