Anh “Joseph” Cao got a lot of attention last December when he became the first Vietnamese-American to be elected to Congress. He was in the news again recently when he became the only Republican to vote in favor of the health reform bill that passed the House of Representatives. Cao is a former Jesuit seminarian. In a recent interview, he talked about the importance of Ignatian discernment in his work:
I still use the Ignatian methods almost every day, from examination of conscience back to the methods of the 30 day retreat. I do that very often. Using the whole process of discernment to see where the Sprit is moving me has been extremely important, especially in my recent decision to support the health care reform plan. The Jesuit emphasis on social justice, the fact that we have to advocate for the poor, for the widow, for those who cannot help themselves, plays a very significant part. . . . For example, right before the [health care] vote, I actually went to Mass and I prayed. And the theme of the day was one of the readings from Isaiah. The priest gave the homily about be not afraid, so I really felt a personal touch during this homily, that this homily was meant for me.