We as members of the Roman Catholic Church have laws, from which we grow toward understanding what is or is not a sin. Sin is breaking God’s law, and the Church helps us to understand this concept increasingly better, so that in better avoiding sin, we are able to grow in holiness. Again, we grow in this understanding. Such growth is central to our soul’s journey through life.
Abortion is a sin, and it is a sin because it directly attacks the deeply held belief that life is sacred, and is such from conception. This is both a law revealed by God, but I would like to say, is also an intuition, a mystical insight that each of us carries from that eternal place within ourselves. In those special moments when our minds can be quiet and our hearts are elevated to God in prayer, we simply KNOW. We feel it, and if we give ourselves permission to think about it, carrying it from our hearts to our minds as it were, we can put it into words and say with conviction that abortion is just outright wrong. Here, revealed law and internal understanding merge. On this point, of why abortion is wrong, a unity of mind and soul is reached. This is a good example of how our souls grow.
Now, the same is true for our understanding of war. The Church does have a just war concept, a centuries old understanding that nations have the right of self defense. Self defense implies that I am defending life by defending my life, or that of my country. Here, I am not choosing war; I am not choosing to disregard the life of others. I am choosing to defend my life and that of my fellow citizens. The Church honors such prioritizing. Even so, in that mystical, eternal place within our hearts of so many perfected souls throughout the centuries, deeper understandings are intuited and then with courage placed into words. And what is the result of such a soul movement? A different way of prioritizing is laid out, a deeper way I would say, where peace is regarded as the highest value. Once this deeper understanding is integrated, the very idea of war becomes repugnant. Courage now is found in being a spiritual warrior, where one fights, so to speak, with the Gospel words of Mercy, Peace, and Love. And in speaking these words, one is to fight against such concepts, and from time to time to kill the prophets who proclaim them. How many Golgotha’s has the world witnessed over the centuries!
Blessings, Fr. Walter