Archbishop Samuel Aquila urged state lawmakers to weigh the material and spiritual impact of laws on the community during remarks at the state Capitol downtown Feb. 26.
“It is not possible to compartmentalize our society into private and public spheres; they influence each other,” Archbishop Aquila told the legislative assembly. “The laws that you pass and the decisions you make have a material and spiritual impact on people, families, institutions and churches.”
The archbishop gave remarks and led the state House in prayer before the assembly began its regular session. It was the first time Archbishop Aquila led a prayer before the Colorado General Assembly.
He began his remarks by pointing to the similarities between himself and the legislators, which he said is that they are both committed to serving the common good.
While he cares for souls and lawmakers’ work involves the law, a good law leads people toward virtue and away from vice, he said.
“And so I encourage all of you to make this reality a part of your deliberations as you weigh and craft our state’s laws,” Archbishop Aquila told the assembly.
The archbishop also pointed to the times of change and uncertainty as seen by the “strenuous debates” in the state Legislature and in Washington, D.C.
He pointed to Pope Francis’ message for Lent in which he talks about the impact of spiritual destitution in society.
“For example, he points to inhumane living conditions, which can weaken a person’s resolve to stay out of trouble,” Archbishop Aquila said about the pontiff. “He also speaks about how addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling or pornography, ‘causes financial ruin’ and is ‘invariably linked to the spiritual destitution which we experience we when turn away from God and reject his love.’”
Archbishop Aquila concluded his remarks with the following prayer:
“God of justice and mercy, as we serve your people, help us to seek the true, good and beautiful. Help us to listen patiently and with good will, to seek out the good in each other and to act with wisdom. Implant in us a desire to serve those most in need and an awareness of the spiritual consequences that our decisions will have. We ask all of this as your sons and daughters, who rely on you and are confident in your love and mercy. Amen.”