The elections of 2020 are behind us, but as Catholics we know that (whether we voted for them or not) our elected leaders need our prayers.
St. Paul stressed the importance of praying for our leaders in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 when he writes, “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.”
This week on The Cale Clarke Show Cale discussed the United States bishops’ statement regarding the inauguration of President Biden, and producer Lucas Holt shared his own experience of the grace that can come from praying for elected leaders.
Before he became Catholic, Lucas worked for a chaplain in a state capitol building in Indiana and California. He said of his experience in the political environment, “One thing that stood out to me from my experience is the humanity of our elected leaders.”
He pointed out that when we look at politicians sometimes we see only their policies, not their personhood. This dehumanization can be damaging not only to our public discourse, but to our souls as well.
“Remember that this is a person made in the image and likeness of God,” Lucas said. “And God loves this person whether or not I happen to like them.”
Offering a personal example of the graces that come from praying for our leaders, whether we agree with them or not, Lucas recalled, “Before I became Catholic I was Christian but not Catholic, and there was this certain politician I did not care for at all. I started praying for them, I started praying for their family and the kids they had.”
“My heart changed, Cale,” he said. “I actually started loving this person. And it reminded me that when we are praying for people – whether we’re praying for President Biden, Vice President Harris, or whoever it may be – really God is working in our own hearts too.”
While it is important to speak out when our leaders are failing in their duty to uphold the common good and the dignity of all human life, we can’t stop there. We must ask the Lord to change their hearts, and give them the strength to use their power for the good of all people.
“Whether or not we agree with their position on x or y issue, these are important things for us to remember as Catholics,” Lucas said. “God is calling us to love this person, to pray for this person. Because the weight that comes with holding public office is so great. It’s a burden that is greater than any one person can really bear. They need the Lord’s help, and we should pray for them and step up and make that sacrifice in any way we can.”
Listen to the full conversation below: