about terrorism? Surely we have a legal right to avenge ourselves.
hen saying anything about terrorism,
it is important to keep in mind two fundamental points:
The agents of terrorism are agents
Those attacked by terrorists
are not necessarily innocent.
Now, the first point is self-evident.
Using any means that they can—bypassing all rules, all justice, all
fairness, all truth—terrorists seek to undermine and destroy all that
opposes them. And that is the essence of evil, because
evil will stop at nothing to achieve its own satisfaction.
The second point, though, is
We need to remember that no secular
government on this earth seeks to do only God’s will. This country,
for example, was founded on the pursuit of
happiness, not on the desire for holiness.
So there are many things in our society which are legal or socially accepted
that are not holy and so don’t deserve to be defended. Abortion ...
divorce ... assisted suicide ... artificial birth control ... embryonic stem-cell
research ... lifestyles defiant of chastity ... immodesty ... pornography
... prostitution ... marijuana ... exploitation of workers ... exploitation of
the weak and helpless ... abuse of the environment ... greed ... gluttony
... self-indulgence ... and all contempt of Christian values in general.
These things should be repented, not
If these things are not repented,
however, we push God out of our lives, and in the process we push away His
Unless the Lord
builds the house,
in vain do its builders labor;
unless the Lord watches over the city,
in vain does the guard keep watch.
Pushing God Out
of Our Lives
And so, even though Christ commanded
us to return a blessing for any insult and gave us the Golden Rule
(“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you,” Matthew
7:12), when we push God out of our lives, we push away even the Golden Rule.
Then we put ourselves in a very bad place, because without God’s protection
backing it, the Golden Rule is useless. Without God’s protection
backing them, those who don’t defend themselves with their own hands will
be annihilated by evil as soon as they turn their backs.
candidate in a South American country ravaged by terrorist kidnappings ran
on a platform of peace. She invited the terrorists to negotiate, saying,
“Come on, guys, let’s be nice. Stop the
kidnapping.” So what did the terrorists do? They kidnapped
Fight Fire with
Therefore, any civil government
that rejects God as the center of its being—and therefore rejects God
as the only source of peace—has only one
alternative when attacked by evil: to take matters into its own hands and
fight back. Without God’s protection, it has to fight fire with
fire—and sin. Without God’s protection, it has to fight evil with
evil, hatred with hatred. Consequently, it is left holding the Satanic inversion
of the Golden Rule: Do to others what they do to you. Deceive them and
kill them. That’s called revenge.
So, you say you want
When you fight
hatred with hatred you will certainly get burned yourself.
And have no doubt that Satan
knows this. If he cannot destroy you directly with a frontal attack, he will
try to make you destroy
through your own sins of hatred and hostility that you
employ in retaliation for being attacked. Then he will be your
accuser on the day of your judgment by God, pointing out that your betrayal of
love for the sake of revenge proves that you do not love God. Then you will know the
truth: that you were duped, duped by your political and military superiors into
believing that you were serving God by killing the enemies of your country, when
really you were serving the devil.
God’s Perfect Justice
When we encounter
individuals who commit offenses and seem to “get away with it,”
the irritation that we feel is justified, but we can also be drawn into
the desire to take matters into our own hands and get revenge. If we remember,
however, that every crime—every sin—every
offense against love—that a person commits is
an offense against God that will be accounted for during his or her judgment
at death, then we can understand that no one can evade God’s perfect justice.
All sins will be paid for. If the sins are not repented, they will be paid for in
hell, but if the sins are repented they will be paid for in
Purgatory, thus demonstrating that
mercy is a fundamental part of God’s justice. To trust
in God’s justice, then, is to set aside our anger for the injuries inflicted on
us and to let God administer His own justice according to His will.
Real Lives of
Note that when men such as Sts. Nereus
and Achilleus, St. Martin of Tours, St. George, St. Francis of Assisi, St.
Jerome Emiliani, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. John of God, and St. Camillus
de Lellis fully embraced Catholicism they gave up all their childhood
illusions about military power, laid down their
weapons, and took up real lives of Christian peace.
They understood that the ultimate welfare of any soul must be a personal,
not a political, matter.
attitude to the military so popular today actually derives from Protestantism.
Protestants cling to the false idea that, once you accept Jesus as your savior,
you are “saved” no matter what you do thereafter. Thus, according to
Protestantism, any defilements of Christian love carried out in military actions
have no effect on the lives of soldiers. In contrast, in the time of Saint John
Chrysostom, soldiers returning from military service were essentially excommunicated
and had to do a long public penance before they could be received back into the
Church. Have you ever heard of anyone today confessing sins of military service
and doing penance for them? Saying “I was just doing my job” won’t save you from
spiritual doom. Protestant ideology has destroyed holy Catholic
wisdom in our culture.
In all of this, there is only
one wisdom: If you want to change the world, begin by changing yourself.
If you want the world to be more fair, treat the world fairly even when you
are treated unfairly. If you want the world to be more kind, treat the world
with kindness and return a blessing for every insult. Show the world
by your good actions—not by military power,
political sentimentality, or
protest—that you are willing to live according
to what you profess to believe. Regardless of how
the world treats you, live the true
To preserve your
own soul, therefore, turn your attention to defending the Magisterium
of the Church: repent your own wickedness,
detach yourself from the wickedness of the
world, turn away from the pernicious ideal of
revenge, live in chastity,
and pray constantly. And be prepared to
suffer for witnessing
your faith, because all true faith leads only to
Pray especially for the morally
weak and the spiritually blind who have
been duped by evil into becoming
Pray that all self-indulgent
social impieties in our culture of “self” are seen for the
sins they are, because these sins are what provoke
terrorists in the first place.
Pray also that politicians who
support these sins are brought to
repentance, because, even though they have
been using the masses to do their dirty work, all their talk about “serving
your country” has just been a ploy to increase their own status and power,
and, in the end, they will find out the hard way that they, too, have been duped
by the devil.
Let your country trust in itself,
because, sadly, that’s all it has. But you have more, if you want to
claim it: “Jesus,
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