On Sunday during his Angelus address, Pope Francis prayed for the people of Mosul. He said: “In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire population of Iraq, especially that of the city of Mosul.”

The Holy Father went on to say, “Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that for too long have been perpetrated against innocent citizens: whether they be Muslims, whether they be Christians, or people belonging to other ethnic groups and religions.”

And then he said: “I was saddened to hear news of the killing – in cold blood – of many sons and daughters of that beloved land, including many children: this cruelty makes us weep, leaving us without words.”

I had to wonder, not for the first time: Is this true? Are we weeping? Or is it just another terrible news story?

I often think of Pope Francis in July 2013 on the Italian island of Lampedusa. In that Jesuit-spiritual-director-of-the-world way he has, he led anyone listening in an examination of conscience. When we see someone suffering, do we just walk past them, thinking something like poor guy? Or do we stop and acknowledge what’s going on, lend a hand, or weep?

As it happens, as you may have noticed, he talks about weeping a lot. Having seen him up close praying a time or two, I can’t help but think it’s a little window into the depth of his prayer, his closeness to Mary in suffering with Christ for the salvation of the world.

In Kenya last year, he said:

“Do you remember any time in the Gospel, when the Apostle James wept? Or when one of the other Apostles wept? Only one wept, the Gospel tells us; he who knew he was a sinner, so great a sinner that he betrayed his Lord. And when he realized this, he wept. Then Jesus made him Pope.

“Who can understand Jesus? It is a mystery! So never stop weeping. When priests and religious no longer weep, something is wrong. We need to weep for our infidelity, for all the pain in our world, for all those people who are cast aside, the elderly who are abandoned, for children who are killed, for the things we do not understand. We need to weep when people ask us, ‘Why?'”

There he had in front of him clergy, men and women religious, and seminarians. But he makes similar pleas to everyone, especially those of us who profess to be Christians.

Now that we are in the last weeks of the presidential election, it’s pretty much a given that every time I criticize something Donald Trump does or says, someone on social media, in a comments section or over email — occasionally in person — explains to me that babies will die if I don’t vote for Donald Trump and that by criticizing him — that is, giving honest assessments, also known as: telling the truth — I am responsible for grave evil.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton, who is so radical on abortion that she can’t even conceive of extending an olive branch to Americans who believe it to be evil — something of hell, that not only kills but poisons lives and relationships, families, communities, and our nation.

But the reality is, Donald Trump has long represented much of what ails our culture. And yes, I have a hard time believing Donald Trump is going to be a leader on this non-negotiable front — though, yes, I, too, noted that he has his “I will appoint pro-life justices” talking-point well-memorized.

My point isn’t to tell you how to vote, or even to focus on the election most of us want long gone (or a time machine to undo, going back, perhaps to the Republican primaries, and help just about anyone else take the lead).

My question, perhaps in the spirit of Pope Francis, is how many of us were praying for the country long before this? How many of us were weeping? Because of four decades of legal abortion? For the Christians who are ready to give their lives to Christ in countries where religious liberty isn’t protected — and those targeted for genocide?

For the fact that in 2016, in the United States the government still executes people. For the horrible conditions in many jails? (How many of us weep — or even give thought to unspeakable things like prison rape?) Because of the man on the street corner who begs for food, however it is he managed to find himself there?

The list could go on forever. Wherever people suffer, however they suffer, they should have brothers and sisters close to them in prayer, including those forgotten souls in purgatory.

Whenever I encounter women (usually) in the back of churches praying the Rosary, for a litany of intentions, I think of the people who have no idea who they are, but can rely on the fact they exist for prayer support in the body of Christ.

But how many of us are among that blessed army of pray-ers?  And how deep is the love? Is there anything like weeping?

I notice that there are many holy hours coming up before the election, many the day before, some even all night. But the praying should have begun long ago and be unceasing. Right? If we believe what we say, there’s real power there. Have we forgotten?

I often think people don’t want to hear the stories of the persecuted, or the violence in Mosul or elsewhere, because they feel powerless. That’s not an identity Christians should ever submit to, not as long as we can pray.

Jesus showed us the fullness of life in His life. He wept for Jerusalem, for their lack of faith. Do we weep for the suffering? Or have we lost not only real faith, but our humanity?

Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review, senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a Crux contributor.