From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…October 30, 2016

Father Aaron FerrisFor the past few weeks we have gone over the important factors that need to guide our voting. People will say that you need to vote your conscience, and I would agree with that. However, conscience is not simply a law unto itself that supersedes any other consideration. We do not get ourselves off the hook by simply saying that I am acting according to my conscience. We have a responsibility to form our conscience, to shape it in accord with the mind of Christ, with the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and with the clear teachings of the Church. This is why we have been going over the relevant issues the past few weeks, namely, to shape our consciences so that we can make a wise and prudential judgment in a difficult situation.

Even having a rightly formed conscience does not necessarily leave us in a great position. In regards to the presidential candidates, there is no perfect candidate. For the sake of discussion, I would even include some third party candidates; none of them are perfect either. The question then becomes how far out are we willing to cast the net to find a decent candidate. Are we going as far as a write-in?

This is where it gets tricky, because each of us has to make a decision regarding who we include in our pool of possible candidates. Some will only include the two major parties on their list of options; some will include all third party candidates that show up on the ballot; some will include other, lesser-known candidates who will have to be written in. Each person will have to make the prudential judgment about how far out they will cast their net in order to evaluate the candidates. There are sound arguments for each one of these positions, but each of us must make that prudential judgment.

Once we have made that judgment, then we can ask the question about who is in accord, or most accord, with the teachings and principles of the Church. This is where the conscience comes in because it is here that the conscience evaluates each option according to the principles it has been given and decides which option best accords with what is good and true. This might mean our conscience proposes a less than ideal candidate, but if that is the option that best fits with the mind of Christ and the teachings of the Church, then that candidate is the best of the bad options.

Our world is a messy place, and while it may become somewhat cleaner and more orderly at times, it is always a broken, messed-up, imperfect place, and we have to make the best decisions we can in the midst of all the chaos. Thankfully, we have Christ and His Church to help us find the way.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar