THE NEW POLITICAL SITUATION DEMANDS DIVINE GUIDANCE
The new provisional government in France decided to establish a constituent assembly which would govern the new Republic of France. It was decided that the members would be elected by a universal vote in which all the men of France were invited to vote. For the first time all men, no matter how poor and insignificant, would be able to participate in a privilege that had only been for the wealthy privileged class before.
Bishop Eugene wrote a pastoral letter to the people of Marseilles stressing their responsibility to vote – but that they had to ask for God’s guidance in the process.
In the midst of the grave preoccupations that trouble our minds, the Christian today feels the need for heaven’s assistance to the fullest. In the hearts of religious men and women, there is an urgent call to Divine Providence, which makes human advice fruitful or ineffective, which brings into being and brings to completion all events, the most vast and the smallest, the most probable and the most unforeseen.
Certainly, there has never been a more solemn occasion to invoke the Almighty’s help with greater fervor. Our nation’s destiny is in our own hands, but “God holds us in his” (Ps 30-31,16). How can we fail to beg him to support us, to guide us, to ensure that the great and difficult work that is about to take place succeeds for the good of all?
Pastoral letter from the Bishop of Marseilles, on the occasion of the general elections and the forthcoming opening of the National Assembly, March 20, 1848
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for rulers and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and acceptable before God our Savior” (I Timothy 12:1-3)
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