No Trust in Princes

The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Soon we’ll have a new president.

At the time of writing (last week) we were still waiting for the election, still embroiled in pre-election scandal and controversy in a political spectacle that just wouldn’t stop. Today we make the transition to post-election scandal and controversy. Although I didn’t know who would be elected, I’m confident saying that he or she hasn’t been universally regarded during the campaign season as a particularly trustworthy figure. It’s rare for our bishops to speak about individual candidates, but some of them have voiced their alarm. For instance, Archbishop Chaput mentioned a friend’s view that our principal presidential candidates were “a vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem; [and] a scheming, robotic liar with a lifelong appetite for power and an entourage riddled with anti-Catholic bigots.”

So now what? It could be an uncomfortable presidency, for the country and for the Church. This may not be an easy time, especially if you love our nation. After all, America is still beautiful, even though that beauty has been marred by the ugliness of our politics, even though we are so far from being crowned with brotherhood. But perhaps it’s not a bad thing to be made uncomfortable.

Discomfort reminds us where our true homeland is: not here. We might be residents or citizens in the good old U.S. of A., but infinitely more important is the promise of citizenship in heaven. Discomfort is a consequence of placing trust in human power and human designs unable to bear the weight of our hopes. Discomfort calls us to remember whom we depend upon for help, and who is truly able to come to our assistance. So recall the words of the psalmist, and ponder them, and pray:

Put no trust in princes,
in mortal man who cannot save.
Take their breath, they return to the earth,
and their plans that day come to nothing.

Blessed is he who is helped by Jacob’s God,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made the heavens and the earth,
the seas and all they contain,
who preserves fidelity forever,
who does justice to those who are oppressed.

Image: The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming

You May Also Enjoy:

A Prayer of Christian Philosophy Why, O Eternal Wisdom, do the heavens move as they do, the rains fall, and the windows fog? Why does my breath make clouds? Why does the oil hover on the water and the light burn up the darkness? Why, O living Source of Life, does sickness come and go, do friends stand by and fall away? Why, O Majesty above heaven and earth, is the world in roaring strife, ruled by men who know little more than their lowest subjects? And it is ever on my...
What is It about Mystery? What do “mystery-buffs” want to see in a summertime page-turner or an addictive Netflix series?  Besides basic motivations to relax or to pass one’s time, many people are simply fascinated by a good mystery.  And this is true not only for those who frequented the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew volumes in the stacks of the middle school library.  One author attributes this fascination to a built-in problem-solving attitude and an “inclination to discove...
Prayers for the Moment “For heaven’s sake, is it time to pray again?” I remember asking this question with great exasperation in my first weeks as a novice. It seemed that we were stopping every other hour or so for prayer. My idealism from the months before I entered—“Finally, I’ll be able to enjoy more time for prayer!”—was beginning to flag in the face of exhaustion at the new routine. You have searched me, O Lord, and found me sleepy. I felt this most keenly dur...
Get Away, Satan! On Tuesday, July 26th, near Rouen, France, Fr. Jacques Hamel was killed by two terrorists as he was celebrating Mass. In the midst of the attack, the priest cried “Get away, Satan!” (“Va-t’en, Satan!”). The words of such a witness reward reflection. Satan is a person, not a personification. Many people today think that the devil is merely a symbol of evil—a personification of an impersonal reality. He is the boogeyman of our cultural childhood...
Br. Hyacinth Grubb, O.P.

Written by:

Br. Hyacinth Grubb entered the Order in 2013. A Colorado native, he graduated from Columbia University where he studied Electrical Engineering. On