O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me. —Psalm 43:3
In a country where government leaders and those in positions of authority cannot always be trusted to tell the truth or guide the nation in the ways of justice and peace, we need this prayer more than ever now. As Christians, our responsibility is to first look to God’s light and truth and to how and where God is leading. The challenge is that some leaders fool us by equating their ways with God’s ways, and they want us to conflate their wishes with God’s desires for us as a people or a country.
How will we know if we are following God’s truth as opposed to human truth? We will not get an answer written in the sky, but we have some tools for discernment. St. Ignatius taught that following God’s voice leads us to experience greater love, peace, strength, and consolation, while the “evil spirit” nurses experiences of hatred, vengeance, shame, and despair. Similarly,
Catholic teaching on interpreting scripture emphasizes that the goal of scripture is to know how much we are all loved by God and how we are to love others. So, as we think about how our leaders lead (in government, at work, and in the church), we should ask ourselves if their example results in expressions of greater love, mercy, compassion, and justice. If they do not,
let us keep praying for God to lead us.
In what ways is God leading you to live more lovingly?
Do you see examples around you of people in power leading others away from love and compassion?