As we approach an important, divisive and decisive day next week on November 3rd, I’d love to share a bit about Saint Martin de Porres. November 3rd is our Election Day, but also his Feast Day, the day upon which many Christians will recall his example of faith and explore his life and legacy for nobility, truth and courage with which to animate our own journeys. This is my icon of Brother Martin to the right…
Brother Martin is remembered for an amazing life of faith and service, caring for the sick, putting others before himself, and a deep humility. This Peruvian saint was the rejected son of a Spanish noble and a freed slave of African and native descent. He was taken in as a young man by the local Dominicans, of whom he would become a treasured and trusted lay member. His selfless service was amazing. His ability to beg alms to feed his destitute neighbors and to care for orphans endeared him to many who knew him.
Today, St. Martin de Porres is held as the patron saint of many people and endeavors including African Americans, any People of Mixed Race, and of Social Justice. As his feast day falls on election day, I find myself looking to his example of faith, service and selflessness as a much needed filter for voting my conscience.
Imagine voting as Martin served, all to the benefit of my most needful neighbors. Imagine voting as Martin lived, placing our my interests aside and valuing those around me who may not have the power, voice and comfort which I enjoy. Imagine voting as someone who looks at all of God’s beautiful creation and loves it. Imagine voting as someone who looks at all God’s people, great and small, and loves each and every one. Can we vote as Martin served? Can we vote as Martin lived? Can we vote as Martin loved? I believe we can.
I’m not writing to tell you who to vote for in this election. Many have already voted, but most are still making our way to the ballot box. I am writing to say I believe there is a way to vote which can change our nation, serve the most needful and love our neighbor. Which candidate will advance compassion? Which candidate has shown humility? Which candidate will lead us to serve and uphold our most vulnerable and disenfranchised neighbors? Which candidate will better serve my neighbor than me myself? Which candidate is most capable of seeking the welfare of, upholding the dignity of, and serving the justice of those in our society with the least power, voice or representation?
Voting this way will keep me from bruising my conscience too badly when I approach the ballot box.
“God of Goodness, and God of Hope,
pour into us the kind of humility, love and courage
with which you animated our Brother Martin.
May we love our neighbors, honor their needs,
and vote to advance their lives.
Help us follow our Brother Martin’s example
as he followed the example of Christ,
through whom we pray. Amen.”
Be blessed, all