Our War

“Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.”

These words of Jesus, in Luke 19:42, are as poignant and as applicable to our world today as they were to the city of Jerusalem, when Our Lord wept over it before His passion.

Our world is embroiled in war and violence. Truly, despite the lack of formal declarations, the whole world is at war. Pope Francis, in reflecting on the same verse of scripture, preached that God weeps over the worldwide violence of today, for which “there is no justification”.

The Church herself is no stranger to war, no stranger to violent men slaughtering her children, to forces plotting to destroy her. In fact she has rarely (if ever) been without such threats. But with each generation, the people of God must face anew the violence of the world, however it manifests.

We shouldn’t fear for the Church in such times. Our Lord’s promise has been proven good through more terrible times than ours, and time and again the bride of Christ has been upheld, even when the odds were against her. Instead, we should look to our own souls, and the work with which God has entrusted us in our broken world.

In an interview published on November 13th, 2015, the same day as the terrorist attacks in Paris, Canada’s new defence minister, Harjit Sajjan, said that Canadians have no need to fear ISIS.

“ISIS is a threat, no doubt about that. Should we fear it? No. The Canadian population should have full confidence in all the security services to keep us safe.”

In terms of our physical safety, the statement was a bit dubious even before France – a far more powerful country than Canada – was powerless to stop a multi-pronged attack on their capital city. After all, it was only a year ago that a lone ISIS-inspired drug-addict with a gun breached the security of our parliament buildings and nearly reached our cabinet.

But in a sense, the defence minister is right.

Our Lord says in Matthew 10:28, “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

If we in the West truly believed our Lord’s words, we would fear our own sins, rather than temporal murderers like the Islamic State.

In a recent article, Marc Barnes of BadCatholic wrote about the essential role of theology in the fight against ISIS. He points out what has been increasingly clear – that our political leaders, and secular society in general, have little understanding of the Islamists they face, and no capacity to challenge the source of the issue; bad theology.

This really gets at the heart of the issue for Catholics. Where our nations can only fight and destroy human beings, as Christians we can fight against sin and error using the weapons God gives us. His Holy Spirit, working through us in love for our enemies, and in words and deeds filled with truth and charity, will defeat the world and the devil. We are not necessarily called to wage war physically (though we may well be), but we are all called to fight in the great battle which the Church Militant fights through all time; the battle for the salvation of souls, both of our own and others.

Whether it’s in combat with our own culture of death, or the one in Syria and Iraq, we need to engage that culture with Truth and Charity. And in prayer, we must continue to lift up our world and plead for conversion, in our own hearts, in our homes, and for the conversion of Muslims.

About anotherepigone

I'm a Catholic, software developer, writer, gamer, and all-around nerd. I write for orthodoxcatholicism.com. Check it out and leave me a comment!

Posted on November 25, 2015, in Catholic. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. beyondthefierce

    It troubles me that you are more concerned with praying for Muslims than you are for people who do not seem to have the capacity to love. You, by saying to pray for the conversion of Muslims, are perpetuating a hate culture by creating a divide. Why are you not praying for Christians who sit in the pews every week praising Jesus Christ only to go home and gossip about who wore what or can you believe that blah blah blah. Why are you not praying for Christians who claim to know and love Jesus but who are celebrating the murderer in Colorado recently? Why are you not praying for people who are so narrow minded that love has escaped their hearts and have entered a crusade against anything that isn’t like them? Muslims are people, just like everyone else. Why do you not pray for the people who are supposedly Christian but who clearly are not, that they may ACTUALLY get to know Christ? Muslims are not the problem. Not at all. It is not Muslims that are carrying out acts of terrorism. I am now praying for you, so that you will find love, acceptance and compassion in your own heart, so that your own eyes can be opened to the Truth.

    • Hi there, beyondthefierce. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views, and I’m grateful for your prayers.

      That said, I feel you’ve misjudged me and I want to respond to some of your points. Most importantly, I certainly do pray for many other people besides Muslims, including all those you mentioned. I actually agree completely that Christians who don’t live the gospel do greater harm to the world than Muslims – and that includes me.

      Please understand that I truly want to pray for Muslims out of love for them, that they may abandon false beliefs about God and embrace the truth and love of God! How can we not pity those who believe according to the teachings of Islam that God does not see them as a son or daughter, but as a slave?

      So, I’m certainly not perpetuating or encouraging hate, although I am acknowledging a divide – the kind Jesus told us he came to create, and which he did create. (Matthew 10:34-39)

      One final point. You said “It is not Muslims that are carrying out acts of terrorism.”

      That’s simply not true, unless you buy into a “no true scotsman” fallacy about terrorists not being real Muslims. Admitting that fact isn’t an attack on anyone, it’s just reality.

      • I will, of course, disagree with you. True Muslims are not carrying out terrorist attacks. Extremists are; those who are radicalized are. That is not true Islam. Just as those “Christians” who don’t live the gospel are not true Christians. But I do appreciate your clarification that you pray out of love and not judgment or hate. Although I do not pity those who follow Islam, to pity is only further misplaced judgment. It is not our place to pity. I have met true Muslims which have more love and more compassion in their hearts than some Christians that I have met. So much so that I left the Christian faith because I saw no hope in the hypocrisy and judgment that I experienced. Not that I don’t believe in God. But I was ashamed to be connected with such people. I’m not Muslim either, just to clarify. Thanks for the response! You guys always impress me with your entries and responses. It’s a much kinder experience of Christianity than I ever felt before.

      • I’d say the fallacy still applies to Christianity. There’s simply no objective standard for who’s holy enough to be a “true” Christian, so it ends up being whomever embarrasses us… much more reasonable in my opinion to just admit there are bad Christians.

        About pity, I know it tends to be interpreted very negatively, but to pity doesn’t necessarily mean to place oneself above someone else and judge them. In essence it is only to empathize with the suffering of another person. From that perspective, does it make sense that I’d feel sorry for a person who doesn’t know Jesus or His gospel?

        I certainly empathize with being embarrassed of Christians. I am too. Of course, I’m an embarrassment myself from time to time.

        Anyways, thanks again for commenting, have a great Christmas 🙂

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