Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.CatholicVote.Org has done that with their year-end list, Top Ten Reasons for Hope. I've selected just these few highlights from CatholicVote's list, leaving readers to peruse the full list at leisure.
Their number 1 is Bishops with Backbone. I learned in 7th grade that it was the monasteries that kept the 'light of learning alive' during the Middle Ages. I'm convinced it is the Catholic Church that will again prevail over our dissolute and materialistic culture, and it will help if the leaders of the Church act like leaders. New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan looks to be such a bishop. He's holding a mass for members of the diocese in Washington DC during the March for Life, and he's apparently been outspoken that parish priests should expand upon the Church's teachings on the dignity of life regularly during homilies. Dolan has taken on the NY Times, as already noted on this blog on November 30th, and he goes about his work with the 'gentleness and respect' that 1 Peter also speaks of.
CatholicVote's number 5 would be my number 2, Religious Leaders Unite to Sign Manhattan Declaration, already covered on this blog (December 9).
My own number 3 is CatholicVote's number 6, Maine Delivers for Marriage. Despite appearances--and that's all they are-- to the contrary, Americans do not support homosexual marriage. As CatholicVote says,
In November, the voters struck back at the ballot box and overruled their Legislature by returning marriage to the traditional definition of one man and one woman. This means that marriage has won 31 out of 31 times when put before the people for a vote!CatholicVote puts at number 7 what I choose as number 4, Priests, Religious and More Priests. Yes, it's good to have more priests, but it's even more encouraging to see that the new young priests are dedicated to the Magisterium of the Church.
Number 4 on CatholicVote's roster is Bart Stupak and the Rise of Pro-Life Democrats. Here I would have to disagree. Perhaps cynicism is rearing its ugly head, but I feel a certain impatience with our congressmen and women at the moment. Where have these pro-life Democrats been all along? What sort of conviction do they really have?
Better to close out the year on a high note, however. As Paul writes in his letter to the Romans 12:12,
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.Happy New Year!