10 Beatitudes for Catholic Advocates — By Fr. Rich, OP

Although this list that I’ve included here is directed by the Missouri Catholic Conference toward Catholic Advocacy, I would offer that, as the season of Advent begins, we have an opportunity to set the tone for our lives as Catholics in the coming year. These “Ten beatitudes for Catholic Advocates” seem to be a solid foundation from which to proceed:

BE PRAYERFUL — Unless the Lord builds the house, we build in vain. Make prayer the foundation of all advocacy.

BE FAITHFUL — Let the Lord light our path and the teachings of the Church guide us. Be faithful to this rather than any political party or agenda.

BE COURAGEOUS — Be not afraid. In the light of Christ speak up for what is right and true. Prophets are seldom popular but they are essential to a moral society.

BE KIND — Rather than moral condemnation seek conversion of the heart. When confronting evil, hate the sin but love the sinner.

BE HOPEFUL — The darkest hour is just before dawn. It took ten years for the MCC to pass a death penalty exemption for those with mental retardation. The Lord’s timetable is not our own.

BE HUMBLE — We don’t have all the answers. We make mistakes. The Lord may be speaking to us through another person, even an opponent. Listen.

BE REASONABLE — In the light of faith, respect and use the reason God has given us. Learn the facts, reflect on them and act for the common good.

BE WISE — Turn away from the pundits and the twenty-four hour news cycle. Too much undigested news is not Good News and not helpful. Reflect-quietly and thoughtfully. Ask for the Lord’s guidance.

BE PATIENT — Both with ourselves and with others. No one is perfect and no system of government is perfect but we are called to work of the common good.

BE GRATEFUL AND JOYFUL — “Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:17) Cultivate a grateful heart. Recognize the blessings God has given to our state, nation and world. Reject the politics of anger and resentment. Focus on the positive.

Regardless of the power of a list, it is only as good as those who commit to engaging it. I suggest that this is a productive way to structure our season of preparation so that we are indeed ready when He comes!