It’s Day 302!!
What do we do in this broken world where people do violence
What do we do in this broken world where there are people who want to destroy you, your family, your way of life, your community, your country?
What do we do as Catholics?
What do we do as followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace?
Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us
Is there such a thing as legitimate defense by military force?
If so, what are the obligations for that kind of defense?
This comes from JUST WAR THEORY which was developed by St. Augustine in the fifth century
When Christians were a minority it was more likely they could become martyrs
But once Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire, there were countries that wanted to attack the empire
As a Christian nation can we fight back?
Is there a time when Christians can enter into war justly?
So there we have it!!
Paragraph 2307 says, “The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.”
Paragraph 2308 says, “All citizens and governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. However, ‘as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.’”
Paragraph 2309 says, “The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time: -the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; -all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; -there must be serious prospects of success; -the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the ‘just war’ doctrine.”
Countries have a right to defend themselves and their way of life
Paragraph 2310 says, “Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense. Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.”
Many people who are part of this community who love the Lord God with their whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love their neighbor as themselves, and as Catholics are also soldiers
If you look back over the history of the USA, many people who were firefighters, police officers, soldiers, etc. a lot of them are Catholic
Catholics have a sense of duty where God is calling them out of themselves to serve those who need to be served
There are Catholic men and women who have sworn to serve their country in the armed forces
If you are a soldier and in battle you had to kill someone, and you carried out your duty honorably, that is not a sin that needs to be confessed
That is not the same thing as murder
Murder needs to be confessed
For your own self and for your wholeness of your heart, you might want to talk to a priest
Remember the Sacrament of Confession is not just for forgiveness, it is also for healing
C.S. Lewis says in Mere Christianity, “I have often thought to myself if, when I served in the first World War, I and some German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it.”
To fight against your neighbor is not the same thing as hating your neighbor
You don’t have to hate your enemy in order to stop your enemy
We need soldiers who are willing to say they are Catholic soldiers and are willing to serve their country in an honorable way
Paragraph 2312 says, “The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. ‘The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties.’”
“All is fair in love and war” is not actually a Catholic principle
Paragraph 2313 says, “Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely. Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.”
Paragraph 2314 says, “‘Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.’ A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons-especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons-to commit such crimes.”
Paragraph 2311 says, “Public authorities should make equitable provision for those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms; these are nonetheless obliged to serve the human community in some other way.”
It’s not about fighting
It is about serving
We may not be the kind of people who are willing or able to fight
But every single one of us has to be able and willing to serve
These paragraphs are challenging to our modern and patriotic sentiments
They are calling us to be like Jesus
That is the goal
To have the heart of Jesus
If you are a soldier in battle, have the heart of Jesus
If you are a conscientious objector, have the heart of Jesus
Wherever we are at, that is what we are called to
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT…