War and Peace

“It does not even seem to enter our minds that there might be some incongruity in praying to the God of peace, the God Who told us to love one another as He had loved us, Who warned us that they who take the sword will perish by it, and at the same time planning to annihilate not thousands but millions of civilians, soldiers, men, women, and children, without discrimination, even with the almost infallible certainty of inviting the same annihilation for ourselves!”
Thomas Merton

The British journalist Robert Fisk, who has lived in and reported from the Middle East for more than 20 years, talks about war in a similar vein as “the total failure of the human spirit”:

“If you go to war, you realize it is not primarily about victory or defeat, it is about death and the infliction of death and suffering on as large a scale as you can make it. It is about the total failure of the human spirit. We don’t show that because we don’t want to. And in this sense journalists, television reporting, television cameras are lethal. They collude with governments to allow you to have more wars because if they showed you the truth, you wouldn’t allow any more wars.”

The words of Jesus to “not be afraid” are always challenging. Perhaps they seem most difficult because at their core, they form a call to repentance, a call to turn away from the illusions of self-sustainability and self-righteousness, the idolatry of war and violence, to hear the gospel’s call to conversion to a life modeled by the self-giving love of Jesus.

It is a subjective demand calling us, as Merton tells it, to a love and a humility that “can exorcise the fear which is at the root of all war.”

“So instead of loving what you think is peace, love other men and love God above all. And instead of hating the people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and disorders in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid “

(John 14:27).

Taken from this weeks SojoNet:faith Politics and Culture

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s