Although there’s been an avalanche of commentary on Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, I remain fascinated by one fact that struck me as I woke up the next morning: The day after was St. Mary Faustina Kowalska’s feast day.

Just an hour or so after listening to Tim Kaine, the Catholic in the mix, explain to us how doubling down and expanding abortion in America is a matter of trusting women to make decisions for themselves, the Church calendar invited a listen in again to some of the prayer life of a woman who was chosen as a missionary of divine trust.

I confess I had forgotten about the feast day, and was somewhat disappointed, given it’s the jubilee year of mercy and I actually prayed at the divine mercy shrine this year, where St. Faustina lived and where her body’s now at rest.

I wanted to revisit that in prayer, check out my pictures, and somehow communicate the significance. As John Paul II highlighted when he canonized her:

“Jesus told Sr. Faustina: ‘Humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy’ (Diary, p. 132). Through the work of the Polish religious, this message has become linked for ever to the 20th century, the last of the second millennium and the bridge to the third. It is not a new message but can be considered a gift of special enlightenment that helps us to relive the Gospel of Easter more intensely, to offer it as a ray of light to the men and women of our time.”

Surely that’s not to be missed.

I thought of it as I replayed Mike Pence shaking his head while Kaine replayed Donald Trump’s ‘criminalizing women’ line from months ago. I thought of it as I wished once again that Hillary Clinton had downloaded some of the wisdom of Mother Teresa when she met her as First Lady.

Mother Teresa said at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast, with the Clintons in attendance:

“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.”

“If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts.”

“Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.”

“By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.”

“And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.”

“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

I fluctuate between infuriated and saddened wanting the first woman at the top of the ticket to be leading a different kind of politics on abortion, but is too wedded to the abortion industry to do so. When you look at poll numbers, you realize it would be smart politics and coalition-building.

I happened upon the other sign from the Church that seemed to be pertinent as I was Ubering to a Georgetown Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life election panel. Evening prayer for the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer of the Church priests and religious promise to pray and everyone is invited to pray as well, included Psalm 127, reminding us how “Apart from God our labors are worthless.”

If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city,
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising,
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat:
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Nothing I could come up on my own could be more to the point. I thought of Catholics working on the campaigns. I thought of Catholics justifying election decisions. I heard a soundtrack of best of “personally opposed” Catholics over the years on abortion. I also thought of deadlocks on issues like immigration and the fear and anger that are in the air.

I thought of the religious-liberty issues that don’t even seem to scratch the surface of popular understanding. No wonder when people of faith don’t always pray for one another and the antiphon from last night: “May the Lord build our house and guard our city.”

Rereading John Paul II’s homily from 2000, the happiest day of his life, he had said, it’s hard not to see it as prophetic and speaking to us today:

“What will the years ahead bring us? What will man’s future on earth be like? We are not given to know. However, it is certain that in addition to new progress there will unfortunately be no lack of painful experiences. But the light of divine mercy, which the Lord in a way wished to return to the world through Sr. Faustina’s charism, will illumine the way for the men and women of the third millennium.”

Painful experiences resonate. And people need to know Jesus Christ so he can heal humanity. Politics isn’t going to get any better without this. Our lives, our witness, our communications, won’t either.

When Pope Francis visited the U.S. last year, the theme was “Love Is Our Mission.” People need to encounter that love in the Church. They need to see Christians as those people who do love. Not pretending the most intimate violence is freedom or punishment is needed when it’s truth and light and love and hope. We need to be agents of this.

During that Faustina homily, John Paul said:

“As the Apostles once did, today too humanity must welcome into the upper room of history the risen Christ, who shows the wounds of his Crucifixion and repeats:  Peace be with you! Humanity must let itself be touched and pervaded by the Spirit given to it by the risen Christ. It is the Spirit who heals the wounds of the heart, pulls down the barriers that separate us from God and divide us from one another, and at the same time, restores the joy of the Father’s love and of fraternal unity.”

Rather than doubling down on promoting one campaign or another in the coming weeks and adding to the anger and noise, a prayerful focus on Divine Mercy might just make for a more merciful politics, not to mention sow peace in homes, office watercoolers, the check-out line, and on Facebook.

Can we bring the risen Christ to the mix this fall? Gospel mandates aren’t meant to take election years off. And this may just be the election when, stripped from ideological loyalties, we encounter Christ more freely and reflect Him more clearly.