Friday, October 19, 2007

Good God!

Good God, I hate war!

I truly hate war and everything about it. I have seen many war movies, and my reaction is always the same. I appreciate the bravery and valor of those who fight for the good of others, paying with their lives for freedom and justice. But I hate war. War movies tear me up.

“We Were Soldiers” rips my guts out. This movie like no other leaves me bawling. War is evil. There is absolutely no excuse for war. War is beyond any question the work of the devil. Saint James writes:

From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Yes, the devil began warring against God and all that is good. He tempted mankind to break fellowship with God and to look for goodness and pleasure elsewhere. All evil is the result of the absence of God, the absence of God in people’s hearts and minds.

This is why war proves to me the absolute and unfaltering goodness of God.

Strange as this may sound, it is true. When I consider the absolute evil of war, I know the absolute goodness of God.

War shows what man is like apart from being in communion with God. This is the condition of the human heart without the counsel of the Holy Spirit. All manner of evil is perpetrated on this account. Yet for all of his efforts, man has not been able to destroy himself nor the world that God created for him. God is good and His mercy endures forever. Man cannot extinguish God’s goodness. God’s goodness is absolute and never failing.

St. James continues, saying:

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

The proud resist God and God resists their evil intentions. Wars and rumors of wars will surely come, but God gives grace to the humble, so that they may stand firm in His Holy Communion, from which the devil must flee. Where God rules, the devil flees. He cannot stand in the holiness of God. Evil as he is, the devil cannot bear to see himself revealed by God’s goodness. So when a person draws near to God in His Holy Communion, he stands unmoved against the devil’s attacks and the devil flees, while the saint is brought closer into God’s Holy Communion.

Such is the nature of God. Such is His goodness that it overcomes all things and restores peace and wholeness to the soul.

The ultimate war was started long ago by one of God’s ministering angels. He had been given great power and honor, to use to God’s glory and to the benefit of mankind. But instead this holy angel broke away from God’s Holy Communion and lost all hope for restoration to God’s goodness. This one has been at war with God and Man ever since. His war works in our flesh and is manifested in our evil actions. But God has given His Holy Church on earth, where He baptizes us into Christ Jesus and keeps us steadfast in His grace, mercy, and peace. All who stand upon the rock of this confession stand upon the One who not only resisted the devil, but conquered him and sent him away powerless. God Himself went to war on our behalf, a war of love versus hate and good versus evil. Love has triumphed and God gives His love freely to all who will receive Him.

Yes, war convinces me of the absolute goodness of God.

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