Remember spiritual maturity and the Gospel at the voting booth

Parents have the responsibility to watch over their children who, if they had total freedom, would seek immediate gratification from all that seemed good — candy, TV, games — as soon as they could get it.
They would also avoid things that are difficult but important for growth, like  discipline, homework and housework,  procrastinating as long as possible.
Of course, then there would be consequences for such courses of action: stomach aches from too much candy; loss of eye vision from watching too much television; and lower academic scores from more games and less homework; cockroaches rampant in the dirty bedroom.
This is among the reasons why God has given parents to children.
The same is true for children of whatever age — even into their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
We live in a tumultuous time. We have uncertainty over gas prices; restlessness of the economy, particularly in the housing and investment departments; insecurity over Middle East issues; and an election that is polarizing a nation between fixing economic problems versus defending life. Children, lacking patience, will want the quick fix regardless of the moral dimension.
For spiritual maturity, we Christians must take a stand for Gospel values such as abortion, the sanctity of marriage, the importance of Judeo-Christian values alongside leadership that has experience as opposed to leadership that lacks an appreciation for Gospel and family values.
The Israelites were exiled into Babylon when the prophet Isaiah told King Ahaz to be patient, asking him what sign he wanted. The king was in despair and “would not tempt the Lord” but formed an alliance with another nation which was not in accord with God’s will.
As a result, they lost and were exiled for 50 years. If we Christians fail to stand up for moral values this election year, we will live the consequences of our despair, our impatience, our childish need for immediate self-gratification.
Defending life that is not your own runs parallel to what Jesus said: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another” (Jn 15:13).
If we truly want to be mature, we must be patient and place the Gospel values of life above the sugar-coated speeches of an improved economy which cannot be guaranteed.
Father John Zimmerman is the administrator of St. Ann Church in Florence.