Saturday, August 28, 2021

The total abolition of war

Credit...Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times

What are we to do?

The duty of the Christian in this crisis is to strive with all his power and  intelligence,
with his faith, his hope in Christ,
and love for God and man,
to do the one task which God has imposed upon us in the world today.

That task is to work for the total abolition of war.

There can be no question that unless war is abolished
the world will remain constantly in a state of madness and desperation in which,
because of the immense destructive power of modern weapons,
the danger of catastrophe will be imminent and probable
at every moment everywhere. 

Unless we set ourselves immediately to this task, 
both as individuals and in our political and religious groups,
we tend by our very passivity and fatalism
to cooperate with the destructive forces that are leading inexorably to war. 

It is a problem of terrifying complexity and magnitude,
for which the Church itself is not fully able to see clear and decisive solutions.
Yet she must lead the way on the road to the nonviolent settlement
of difficulties and toward the gradual abolition of war
as the way of settling international or civil disputes. 

Christians must become active in every possible way, mobilizing all their resources for the fight against war.

-Thomas Merton

from Jim Forest's essay, "An Army that Sheds No Blood; Thomas Merton's Response to War"

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