Make war to gain
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 10, 2022
THAT is not a smart-alecky
statement. It has to be taken seriously, since in a sense it comes
from Christ himself. Note what he said in the Gospel of St. Matthew:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have
come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man
against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a
daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be
those of his household.” (10,34-36)
But lest we think such statement is just a capricious, if not evil
desire of Christ, he made some clarification. “Whoever loves father
or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or
daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take
up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds
his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will
find it.” (10,37-39)
It’s clear that Christ wants us to make war against anything that
would prevent us from being with him. And it is only with him when
we can have our true and lasting joy and peace.
We just have to make sure though that when we wage war as suggested
by Christ, we do it not out of hatred against anybody or anything,
since God loves everyone and everything that he created. We have to
do it with the same love God has for everyone and everything. It’s
actually a war of peace and love.
We have to understand that in this life we have to make war to have
peace. And peace can only come about, at least in this life, as a
consequence of some war. Our life here on earth will always be a war
of peace. We should not be surprised by this phenomenon anymore. It
should be a given.
The war we will be waging here on earth will be a constructive war,
not destructive. It is a war to win our way toward heaven. It is a
war to make ourselves “another Christ,” a new man, stepping out of
the old man that we all are due to sin. Any obstacle along the way,
including those who are very close to us but who compete with God
for our love, should be fought and rejected.
We have to remember that we always have to contend with powerful
enemies in our spiritual life. The first one would be our own
selves, our own flesh that has been weakened by sin. There is such
thing as concupiscence, a certain attraction to evil that leads us
to have a lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
Yes, our Christian life here on earth will always involve some war,
some struggle and effort, some combat. But all of this would be done
in peace and for peace. The combination may sound incredible, but
that is what Christ is showing and telling us.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace,” he
told his disciples. “In this world you will have trouble, but take
heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16,33) If by faith and
effort, we do our best to stick with Christ, we know that victory is
always assured for us. Peace is gained by making some war.