Father Eugene Hemrick

Father Eugene Hemrick

I keep hearing many of my friends say that they are planning to move to Canada, given the present political malaise in our country. No doubt, many of us are bombarded this year with negative comments, attacks from one candidate to another, attacks among groups that support one candidate or cause over another. How might we navigate a sound course through such growing discontent?

One way to do this is to accept that we live in an age calling for heightened prudence, an age prompting us to avoid throwing overboard our intellectual powers and our ability to wisely cope in rough waters.

In an age of instant commentaries and a plethora of analysts and predictors, it’s easy to allow them to steer our course. Prudence, however, dictates we not sit on the sidelines, but be players on the field. This translates into seeking reliable resources and consulting with knowledgeable persons to enable us to obtain intelligent control over the moment.

The docility called for prompts us to do our homework and not leave it in the hands of others. Not only should we be involved physically and mentally, but we should also work at making sound judgments.

Sound judgment is difficult to create because of a media explosion that bombards us continuously with overwhelming issues to consider. Making good judgments in these complex situations is always difficult, and yet, achieving good judgments is our best means for avoiding capsizing in rough times.

How do we best cultivate good judgment? Mornings in my parish on Capitol Hill in Washington often are filled by large numbers of people from the government and the Supreme Court of the United States. Many come to church for the quiet atmosphere of God’s temple whose massive doors symbolize shutting out the outside world and entering into a contemplative atmosphere.

St. Paul points out that Christ implores us to “go into your room.” This silence is where our deepest thoughts and affections are contained; it is the doorway through which we enter into our very center. Equally important, it is where sound judgment is best developed.

I believe today’s hectic times call us to cultivate greater docility and sounder judgments: the heart of prudence and our best navigational instruments for steering through turbulence.