Our 46th president Joe Biden makes me think of my one and only political conversation with my grandpa. He died when I was a senior in college, or I'm sure we would have had plenty to say to each other these days. It went something like this:
Me: What's with the 'Catholics for Kerry' button, old man?
Him: What, you wouldn't have voted for Kennedy?
These two Catholic men that have served as president leave me conflicted.
As a Catholic, there is a sense of swelling pride in a shared and sacred Baptism in Christ that I didn't think I was able to feel anymore. Pride in a baptism that leaves an indelible mark on our souls that cannot be taken from us. There is also the distress in the knowledge that both men are flawed Catholics. So am I. The Catholic Church is a place for sinners but it is also a place where our leaders share our sins.
As a woman, I have the all too familiar feeling of wanting to trust a man, but knowing he may have made other women feel unsafe. Perhaps I have become hyper-aware and hyper-focused on these warning flags, but I cannot dismiss the warnings all the same.
These conflicts all feel blessedly mundane in this, the year of our Lord, 2021. My insides may resemble a storm at sea, but I am grateful that these conflicts leave me cautious and alert. It reminds me of dark churches at night and my favorite Liturgy of the Hours Tuesday night prayer verse:
Stay sober and alert. -1 Peter 5:8