“No more war. Stop the fighting. We have suffered too much to endure anymore of this!”
This most human cry of mankind in the face of dreadful conflicts has been heard time and again over the centuries. Yet Christ the Lord said that He did not come to bring peace but war among his followers, speaking of the inner struggle between the kingdom of God and that of Satan.
As much as we all abhor it, war will always be fashioning our history. The latest decade is no exception as wars and rumors of war and conflicts are flaring up in the Middle East, in Western Africa, and in the Eastern European continent, just to name a few. This is why this Angelus issue on war cannot elude the ever timely question of just war, and especially war as it is practiced in our modern age. And what are we to think of our younger generation readying itself to enlist in the military?
Finally, in this issue, we wish to commemorate a few anniversaries of the year 2014 related to warriors:
- The centenary of the beginning of WWI, with an historical article on why it was the bloodiest war ever seen up to that time.
- The twelfth centenary of Charlemagne, the first Christian Roman Emperor, who died in 814.
- It also celebrates the birth in 1214 of St. Louis IX, the great warrior and twice Crusader.
Hence, however disturbing may be the prospect of facing battle or war, whether internal or external, it is expedient to Catholics to have the proper understanding of the moral principles behind war and the good examples of Christian men who served their country and God, since, in Job’s words, “man’s life on earth is a battle.”
Fr. Jürgen Wegner