Sunday, September 13, 2009

And what do you wish for...... world peace

Will you end wars by asking men to trust men who evidently cannot be trusted? No. Teach them to love and trust God; then they will be able to love the men they cannot trust, and will dare to make peace with them, not trusting in them but in God.
For only love - which means humility - can cast out the fear which is the root of all war.

If men really wanted peace they would ask God and He would give it to them. But why should He give the world a peace which it does not really desire? For the peace the world seems to desire is really no peace at all.
To some men peace means merely the liberty to exploit other people without fear of retaliation or interference. To others peace means the freedom to rob one another without interruption. To still others it means the leisure to devour the goods of the earth without being compelled to interrupt their pleasures to feed those whom their greed is starving. And to practically everybody peace simply means the absence of any physical violence that might cast a shadow over lives devoted to the satisfaction of their animal appetites for comfort and pleasure.
Many men like these have asked God for what they thought was "peace" and wondered why their prayer was not answered. They could not understand that it actually was answered. God left them with what they desired, for their idea of peace was only another form of 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 the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war.

- Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation (London: 1949), 72-73.

H/T Byron

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