Sunday, September 15, 2013

Peace in Syria


T he Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked that last Saturday, September 7, be a day when Catholics fast and pray specifically for peace in Syria. He as well as every bishop in the United States, has advised that our military not intervene in that country. We do not want to aggravate an already bad situation. The Catholic position of a just war is that military action can be used to defend one's country or the its allies. Everything should be done to avert conflict. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. He came to reconcile man with God. If each person were at peace with God, then each would be at peace with each other. That is God's desire. As his sons and daughters, we should be working towards that goal right here and now. This applies to us in our families, in our work places and in our neighborhoods and communities. It should be the real desire of every world leader.

Harming and killing one's own citizens is reprehensible. Certainly the use of chemical weapons is atrocious. How can a government do that to its own men, women and children or to anyone for that matter? We find this appalling because we are created with a "life ethic" within us. This is part of the natural law common to every human being.

Hopefully, we can carry this built-in desire to protect life another step, to the protection of the unborn. Unfortunately, a national leader's will can trump the welfare of his citizen's. Similarly, a person with an unplanned pregnancy can assert her will over the life the child within. It is a fact that the person within the womb can experience pain at least by the twentieth week of pregnancy. Around thirty years ago a short film was produced by means of ultrasound. It was called "The Silent Scream" and showed what happened in the womb during an abortion. You could actually see the unborn baby moving away from the forceps that would dismember him or her. Then, you could see the mouth open, as if to scream, as the instrument touched him.

The 15th of September is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I'm sure that she is sorrowful at so many sins, so many horrible acts of man against man. Let us pray to her that she be at the hearts of everyone, urging them to respect each other, to respect life from conception to natural death.
Father Stanley

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