Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence. The Quran is a prophetic book of peace

If someone who is asleep is in perfect physical and mental health, he enjoys a tranquility which is the result of the order that prevails in his interior. On the other hand, a person who has fainted may seem tranquil but his lethargy is the consequence of an organic or psychic disorder, and consequently, it may not be considered peace. In a similar way, the silence of a tomb may not be considered peace, for there, the decomposition of a body is in process.

The Muslims say that Islam is a religion of peace, however, its peace is the tranquility of those who are subject to the laws of Allah and there is no peace for those who do not submit to them. They wish to impose this so-called peace on everyone… ‘by the sword’!! As Tacitus had expressed: ‘Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant’ ‘to robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace’ (Tacitus. Agricola, Ch. 30).
This is what predominates in the Koran, with its Hadith, both filled with precepts inculcating violence, as for example book 52 of al-Bukhari that contains no less than 285 incentives to jihad, the ‘holy war’, in order to implant the false religion of the prophet everywhere.

Now, peace is built upon order, and is the fruit of charity and justice, which has its roots in human nature itself, being founded on the fulfilling of the natural law. And it is only the religion of Christ that entirely satisfies these criteria, thus being the only religion that can effectively establish peace among men. On the contrary, the Islamic belief is nothing other than the systematic violation of justice and, consequently, of peace. Only in the Sacred Scriptures can we find the way of righteousness and of peace — the Church teaches: ‘If anyone either believes that other scriptures, apart from the ones that the Catholic Church has received, should be regarded as authoritative or has venerated them, let him be anathema’ (Denzinger-Hünermann 202. Symbolum Toletanum I) — whereby only in the practice of the evangelical precepts will peace be brought to humanity: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’ (Mt 5:9). Given the timeliness of this topic, with its tremendous significance and its multiple dimensions, it is vital to know what peace really is, and also to be acquainted with the falsified notion of peace that the Islamic visualization offers. Therefore, this study is divided into various parts with the objective of presenting the matter progressively and profoundly – above all, since we are convinced that this is one of the fundamental points of the spiritual battles of the Church within the next decades. In the first part, we shall enter into a doctrinal explanation regarding authentic peace; in the second part, we shall see where true peace may be found on earth; and in the third and final part, we will expose the supposed peace of Islam.

Francis

francisco_lampedusa_

We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence. (Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, no. 253, November 24, 2013)

The Quran is a prophetic book of peace. (In-flight press conference from Istanbul to Rome, November 30, 2014)

Part I – Introductory doctrinal note: what is peace?

Part II – Christ is the Prince of peace

Part III – Islam and peace

 

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of contents

I – Introductory doctrinal note: what is peace?

 

1 – What is peace?
2 – Peace is the work of justice and fruit of charity, for it is stimulated by the Holy Spirit
3 – Peace comes from the practice of fulfilling the natural law, which is the Decalogue that God engraved in man’s heart
4 – After original sin, it is impossible to practice the divine law in a stable manner without the help of grace
5 – Sin expels grace and destroys peace
______________________________________________________________________

I – Introductory doctrinal note: what is peace?


1 – What is peace?

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– Nothing is so greatly desired as peace
– Every man seeks peace, even those who wage war…
– The peace of all things is the tranquility of order, which is the distribution that allots to each being its own place

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Concord is the union of appetites among various persons; while, in addition to this, peace is the union of the appetites even each man
– To peace is opposed dissension – between a man and himself, or with others

John Paul II
– There is no peace without a true change of heart

2 – Peace is the work of justice and fruit of charity, for it is stimulated by the Holy Spirit

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– True peace is only in the perfect enjoyment of the sovereign good, which unites and puts to rest all one’s desires
– Peace is an important element of friendship
– Peace is the work of charity and justice
– To cause peace is proper to the virtue of charity
– Peace: an act of charity, and its fruit

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Joy, peace, and mercy: the fruits of charity
– Charity and peace: fruits of the Holy Spirit

Benedict XVI
– There is no peace without justice

3 – Peace comes from the practice of fulfilling the natural law, which is the Decalogue that God engraved in man’s heart

Sacred Scripture
– Great peace have those who love thy Law

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– God administers the peace of the universe, and His laws are strictly observed

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– The divine and natural law shows man the way to practice the good and attain his end
– The natural law expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties
– The natural law cannot be removed from the heart of man, and it is permanent throughout history- No one is ignorant of the principles of the moral law, written in the conscience of every man

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
– The Decalogue is a privileged expression of the natural law, and expresses the indispensable rules of all social life

Benedict XVI
– Peace is heavenly gift and a divine grace that demands conforming human history to the divine order
– Peace also demands of everyone a personal response consistent with God’s plan – according to the ‘grammar’ written on human hearts
– Recognition and respect for natural law: fundamental presupposition for authentic peace
– Peace on earth cannot be found without reconciliation with God

John XXIII
– Peace can never be established except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order
The world will never have peace till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man

John Paul II
Those who do not live in peace with God will not easily live in peace with their neighbor

Pius XII
Peace is the happy inheritance of those who observe the law of God

4 – After original sin, it is impossible to practice the divine law in a stable manner without the help of grace

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin weakened human nature

Saint Thomas Aquinas
To love God, the natural qualities alone are insufficient
Man needs the Divine help, that he may be moved to act well
In the state of corrupt nature, man must be cured by God’s grace

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)
Only with the help of God’s grace can humans achieve their own integrity
Damaged by sin, the human relationship with God may flower only by the aid of grace

John Paul II
– The rich young man of the Gospel is incapable of moral growth by himself alone – he requires God’s gift of grace

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Grace heals and is the source of the work of sanctification

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Man cannot fulfill all the Divine commandments without healing grace
– The written law is given for the correction of the perversion of the human heart, due to which humans esteem as good those things which are naturally evil
– The secondary precepts of the natural law can be blotted out from the human heart by evil persuasions or by vicious customs and corrupt habits

Sacred Scripture
– Sin introduces lawlessness into the human heart

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)
– Social structures flawed by the consequences of sin, provide humans with newer inducements to sin

5– Sin expels grace and destroys peace

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Sin banishes sanctifying grace, without which peace is not real but merely apparent
– The good of virtue and grace is entirely taken away by sin
– After sin, the soul suffers the privation of union with the Divine light

Benedict XVI
– Sin: a progressive rejection of peace

John Paul II
– Peace on earth is always a challenge, because of the presence of sin in man’s heart
– War is born from the sinful heart of man

Benedict XVI
– It is only through the Redemption that man can overcome the progressive rejection of peace, and be an authentic peacemaker


I – Introductory doctrinal note: what is peace?


1 – What is peace?


Saint Augustine of Hippo

  • Nothing is so greatly desired as peace

For peace is a good so great, that even in this earthly and mortal life there is no word we hear with such pleasure, nothing we desire with such zest, or find to be more thoroughly gratifying. So that if we dwell for a little longer on this subject, we shall not, in my opinion, be wearisome to our readers, who will attend both for the sake of understanding what is the end of this city of which we speak, and for the sake of the sweetness of peace which is dear to all. (Saint Augustine of Hippo. City of God, Book XIX, Ch. 11)

  • Every man seeks peace, even those who wage war…

Every man seeks peace by waging war, but no man seeks war by making peace. For even they who intentionally interrupt the peace in which they are living have no hatred of peace, but only wish it changed into a peace that suits them better. They do not, therefore, wish to have no peace, but only one more to their mind. (Saint Augustine of Hippo. City of God, Book XIX, Ch. 12)

  • The peace of all things is the tranquility of order, which is the distribution that allots to each being its own place

The peace of the body then consists in the duly proportioned arrangement of its parts. The peace of the irrational soul is the harmonious repose of the appetites, and that of the rational soul the harmony of knowledge and action. The peace of body and soul is the well-ordered and harmonious life and health of the living creature. Peace between man and God is the well-ordered obedience of faith to eternal law. Peace between man and man is well-ordered concord. Domestic peace is the well-ordered concord between those of the family who rule and those who obey. Civil peace is a similar concord among the citizens. The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God. The peace of all things is the tranquility of order. Order is the distribution which allots things equal and unequal, each to its own place. (Saint Augustine of Hippo. City of God, Book XIX, Ch. 13)

Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • Concord is the union of appetites among various persons; while, in addition to this, peace is the union of the appetites even each man

Peace includes concord and adds something thereto. Hence wherever peace is, there is concord, but there is not peace, wherever there is concord, if we give peace its proper meaning. For concord, properly speaking, is between one man and another, in so far as the wills of various hearts agree together in consenting to the same thing. Now the heart of one man may happen to tend to diverse things, and this in two ways. First, in respect of the diverse appetitive powers: thus the sensitive appetite tends sometimes to that which is opposed to the rational appetite, according to Gal 5:17: ‘The flesh lusteth against the spirit.’ Secondly, in so far as one and the same appetitive power tends to diverse objects of appetite, which it cannot obtain all at the same time: so that there must needs be a clashing of the movements of the appetite. Now the union of such movements is essential to peace, because man’s heart is not at peace, so long as he has not what he wants, or if, having what he wants, there still remains something for him to want, and which he cannot have at the same time. On the other hand this union is not essential to concord: wherefore concord denotes union of appetites among various persons, while peace denotes, in addition to this union, the union of the appetites even in one man. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a.1)

  • To peace is opposed dissension – between a man and himself, or with others

If one man consent to the same thing together with another man, his consent is nevertheless not perfectly united to himself, unless at the same time all his appetitive movements be in agreement. A twofold dissension is opposed to peace, namely dissension between a man and himself, and dissension between one man and another. The latter alone is opposed to concord. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a.1, ad. 2-3)

John Paul II

  • There is no peace without a true change of heart

The re-establishment of peace would itself be of short duration and quite illusory if there were not a true change of heart. (John Paul II. Message for the celebration of the XVII World Day of Peace, no. 2, January 1, 1984)


2. Peace is the work of justice and fruit of charity for it is stimulated by the Holy Spirit


Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • True peace is only in the perfect enjoyment of the sovereign good, which unites and puts to rest all one’s desires

Peace gives calm and unity to the appetite. Now just as the appetite may tend to what is good simply, or to what is good apparently, so too, peace may be either true or apparent. There can be no true peace except where the appetite is directed to what is truly good, since every evil, though it may appear good in a way, so as to calm the appetite in some respect, has, nevertheless many defects, which cause the appetite to remain restless and disturbed. Hence true peace is only in good men and about good things. The peace of the wicked is not a true peace but a semblance thereof, wherefore it is written (Wis 14:22): ‘Whereas they lived in a great war of ignorance, they call so many and so great evils peace.’ Since true peace is only about good things, as the true good is possessed in two ways, perfectly and imperfectly, so there is a twofold true peace. One is perfect peace. It consists in the perfect enjoyment of the sovereign good, and unites all one’s desires by giving them rest in one object. This is the last end of the rational creature, according to Psalm 147:3: ‘Who hath placed peace in thy borders.’ The other is imperfect peace, which may be had in this world, for though the chief movement of the soul finds rest in God, yet there are certain things within and without which disturb the peace. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a. 2, ad 3-4)

  • Peace is an important element of friendship

Peace implies a twofold union, as stated above. The first is the result of one’s own appetites being directed to one object; while the other results from one’s own appetite being united with the appetite of another: and each of these unions is effected by charity—the first, in so far as man loves God with his whole heart, by referring all things to Him, so that all his desires tend to one object—the second, in so far as we love our neighbor as ourselves, the result being that we wish to fulfil our neighbor’s will as though it were ours: hence it is reckoned a sign of friendship if people ‘make choice of the same things’ (Ethic. ix, 4), and Tully says (De Amicitia) that friends ‘like and dislike the same things’ (Sallust, Catilin.) (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a. 3)

  • Peace is the work of charity and justice

Peace is the ‘work of justice’ indirectly, in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace: but it is the work of charity directly, since charity, according to its very nature, causes peace. For love is ‘a unitive force’ as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv): and peace is the union of the appetite’s inclinations. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a.3, ad. 3)

  • To cause peace is proper to the virtue of charity

Since then charity causes peace precisely because it is love of God and of our neighbor, as shown above, there is no other virtue except charity whose proper act is peace, as we have also said in reference to joy (q. 28, a. 4). (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a. 4)

  • Peace: an act of charity, and its fruit

We are commanded to keep peace because it is an act of charity; and for this reason too it is a meritorious act. Hence it is placed among the beatitudes, which are acts of perfect virtue, as stated above (q. 69, a. 1-3). It is also numbered among the fruits, in so far as it is a final good, having spiritual sweetness. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 29, a. 4, ad. 1)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Joy, peace, and mercy: the fruits of charity

The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1829)

  • Charity and peace: fruits of the Holy Spirit

The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.’ (Gal 5:22-23). (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1832)

Benedict XVI

  • There is no peace without justice

You know, as I do, that authentic peace is only possible when justice reigns. Our world is thirsting for peace and justice. (Benedict XVI. Address to the new ambassadors to the Holy See, December 18, 2008)


3 – Peace comes from the practice of fulfilling the natural law, which is the Decalogue that God engraved in man’s heart


Sacred Scripture

  • Great peace have those who love thy Law

Great peace have those who love thy Law; nothing can make them stumble. (Ps 119:165)

Saint Augustine of Hippo

  • God administers the peace of the universe and His laws are strictly observed

Yet throughout this process the laws of the most high Creator and Governor are strictly observed, for it is by Him the peace of the universe is administered. (Saint Augustine of Hippo. The City of God, Book XIX, Ch. 12)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • The divine and natural law shows man the way to practice the good and attain his end

The ‘divine and natural’ law (GS 89) shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. the natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. It hinges upon the desire for God and submission to him, who is the source and judge of all that is good, as well as upon the sense that the other is one’s equal. Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue. This law is called ‘natural’, not in reference to the nature of irrational beings, but because reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1955)

  • The natural law expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties

The natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason, is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties: (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1956)

  • The natural law cannot be removed from the heart of man, and it is permanent throughout history

The natural law is immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history; it subsists under the flux of ideas and customs and supports their progress. The rules that express it remain substantially valid. Even when it is rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life of individuals and societies. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1958)

  • No one is ignorant of the principles of the moral law, written in the conscience of every man

Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1860)

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

  • The Decalogue is a privileged expression of the natural law, and expresses the indispensable rules of all social life

The Ten Commandments, which constitute an extraordinary path of life and indicate the surest way for living in freedom from slavery to sin, contain a privileged expression of the natural law. They ‘teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2070). They describe universal human morality. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds the rich young man that the Ten Commandments (cf. Mt 19:18) ‘constitute the indispensable rules of all social life’ (John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, 97). (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 22)

Benedict XVI

  • Peace is a heavenly gift and a divine grace that demands conforming human history to the divine order

Seen in this way, peace appears as a heavenly gift and a divine grace which demands at every level the exercise of the highest responsibility: that of conforming human history–in truth, justice, freedom and love–to the divine order. Whenever there is a loss of fidelity to the transcendent order, and a loss of respect for that ‘grammar’ of dialogue which is the universal moral law written on human hearts, whenever the integral development of the person and the protection of his fundamental rights are hindered or denied, whenever countless people are forced to endure intolerable injustices and inequalities, how can we hope that the good of peace will be realized? The essential elements which make up the truth of that good are missing. Saint Augustine described peace as tranquillitas Ordinis (De Civitate Dei, XIX, 13) the tranquillity of order. By this, he meant a situation which ultimately enables the truth about man to be fully respected and realized. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XXXIX World Day of Peace, no. 4, January 1, 2006)

  • Peace also demands of everyone a personal response consistent with God’s plan – according to the ‘grammar’ written on human hearts

The transcendent ‘grammar’, that is to say the body of rules for individual action and the reciprocal relationships of persons in accordance with justice and solidarity, is inscribed on human consciences, in which the wise plan of God is reflected. As I recently had occasion to reaffirm: ‘we believe that at the beginning of everything is the Eternal Word, Reason and not Unreason’ (Homily at Regensburg, 12 September 2006). Peace is thus also a task demanding of everyone a personal response consistent with God’s plan. The criterion inspiring this response can only be respect for the ‘grammar’ written on human hearts by the divine Creator. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XL World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • Recognition and respect for natural law: fundamental presupposition for authentic peace

Recognition and respect for natural law represents the foundation for a dialogue between the followers of the different religions and between believers and non-believers. As a great point of convergence, this is also a fundamental presupposition for authentic peace. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XL World Day of Peace, January 1, 2007)

  • Peace on earth cannot be found without reconciliation with God

Peace on earth cannot be found without reconciliation with God, without harmony between Heaven and earth. (Benedict XVI. Address to the members of the Roman Curia, December 22. 2006)

John XXIII

  • Peace can never be established except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order

Peace on Earth–which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after–can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order. (John XXIII. Encyclical Pacem in Terris, no. 1, April 11, 1963)

  • The world will never have peace till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man

The world will never be the dwelling place of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man, till every man preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved. That is why Saint Augustine asks the question: ‘Does your mind desire the strength to gain the mastery over your passions? Let it submit to a greater power, and it will conquer all beneath it. And peace will be in you–true, sure, most ordered peace. What is that order? God as ruler of the mind; the mind as ruler of the body. Nothing could be more orderly’ (Miscellanea Augustiniana Saint Augustine, Sermones post Maurinos reperti, Rome, 1930, p. 633). (John XXIII. Encyclical Pacem in Terris, no. 165, April 11, 1963)

John Paul II

  • Those who do not live in peace with God will not easily live in peace with their neighbor

To give the world the peace that humanity desires, the conferences of the politicians are not sufficient; nor the agreements, nor the politics of détente that men pursue, no matter how important or necessary these may be. The world afflicted by discord needs above all the peace of Christ. And this is more than pure and simple political peace. The peace of Christ may assert itself only where men are disposed to flee from sin. The most profound cause of all conflict in the world is the abandonment of God on the part of man. Those who do not live in peace with God can only live with difficulty in peace with his neighbor. (John Paul II. Homily in Kevelaer, no. 5, May 2, 1987)

Pius XII

  • Peace is the happy inheritance of those who observe the law of God

Peace, the font of true happiness, cannot come except from God, cannot be found anywhere but in God: ‘Oh Lord, we were made only for Thee and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee’. Consequently, absolute tranquility, complete and perfect happiness will not be except in heaven, in the vision of the divine essence. But also during this earthly life the fundamental condition of true peace and healthy happiness is the loving and filial dependence on the will of God: all of that which weakens, ruptures and breaks this conformity and union of will, is in opposition to peace: first of all, and above all, sin. Sin is rupture and disunion, disorder and perturbation, remorse and fear, and those who resist the will of God do not have, cannot have, peace: Quis restitit ei et pacem habuit? (Job 9: 4), while peace is the happy inheritance of those who observe the law of God: Pax multa diligentibus legem tuam (Ps 118: 165). (Pius XII. General audience, July 19, 1939)


4 – After original sin, it is impossible to practice the divine law in a stable manner without the help of grace


Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Original sin weakened human nature

As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called ‘concupiscence’). (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 418)

Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • To love God, the natural qualities alone are insufficient

Man cannot, with his purely natural endowments, fulfil the precept of the love of God, as stated above (a.3). (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica I-II, q. 109, a. 4, ad. 3)

  • Man needs the Divine help, that he may be moved to act well

And thus in the state of perfect nature man needs a gratuitous strength superadded to natural strength for one reason, viz. in order to do and wish supernatural good; but for two reasons, in the state of corrupt nature, viz. in order to be healed, and furthermore in order to carry out works of supernatural virtue, which are meritorious. Beyond this, in both states man needs the Divine help, that he may be moved to act well. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 109, a. 2)

  • In the state of corrupt nature, man must be cured by God’s grace

But in the state of corrupt nature man falls short of this in the appetite of his rational will, which, unless it is cured by God’s grace, follows its private good, on account of the corruption of nature. And hence we must say that in the state of perfect nature man did not need the gift of grace added to his natural endowments, in order to love God above all things naturally, although he needed God’s help to move him to it; but in the state of corrupt nature man needs, even for this, the help of grace to heal his nature. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 109, a. 3)

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

  • Only with the help of God’s grace can humans achieve their own integrity

For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested. Caught in this conflict, man is obliged to wrestle constantly if he is to cling to what is good, nor can he achieve his own integrity without great efforts and the help of God’s grace. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 37, December 7, 1965)

  • Damaged by sin, the human relationship with God may flower only by the aid of grace

Since man’s freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God’s grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgement seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 17, December 7. 1965)

John Paul II

  • The rich young man of the Gospel is incapable of moral growth by himself alone – he requires God’s gift of grace

We do not know how clearly the young man in the Gospel understood the profound and challenging import of Jesus’ first reply: ‘If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments’. But it is certain that the young man’s commitment to respect all the moral demands of the commandments represents the absolutely essential ground in which the desire for perfection can take root and mature, the desire, that is, for the meaning of the commandments to be completely fulfilled in following Christ. Jesus’ conversation with the young man helps us to grasp the conditions for the moral growth of man, who has been called to perfection: the young man, having observed all the commandments, shows that he is incapable of taking the next step by himself alone. To do so requires mature human freedom (‘If you wish to be perfect’) and God’s gift of grace (‘Come, follow me’). (John Paul II. Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, no. 17, August 8, 1993)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Grace heals and is the source of the work of sanctification

The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification (cf. Jn 4:14; 7:38-39). (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1999)

Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • Man cannot fulfill all the Divine commandments without healing grace

But in the state of corrupted nature man cannot fulfill all the Divine commandments without healing grace. Secondly, the commandments of the law can be fulfilled, not merely as regards the substance of the act, but also as regards the mode of acting, i.e. their being done out of charity. And in this way, neither in the state of perfect nature, nor in the state of corrupt nature can man fulfil the commandments of the law without grace. Hence, Augustine (De Corrupt. et Grat. ii) having stated that ‘without grace men can do no good whatever’, adds: ‘Not only do they know by its light what to do, but by its help they do lovingly what they know.’ Beyond this, in both states they need the help of God’s motion in order to fulfil the commandments, as stated above (a. 2,3). (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 109, a. 4)

  • The written law is given for the correction of the perversion of the human heart, due to which humans esteem as good those things which are naturally evil

The written law is said to be given for the correction of the natural law, either because it supplies what was wanting to the natural law; or because the natural law was perverted in the hearts of some men, as to certain matters, so that they esteemed those things good which are naturally evil; which perversion stood in need of correction. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 109, a. 3)

  • The secondary precepts of the natural law can be blotted out from the human heart by evil persuasions or by vicious customs and corrupt habits

As stated above (a. 4,5), there belong to the natural law, first, certain most general precepts, that are known to all; and secondly, certain secondary and more detailed precepts, which are, as it were, conclusions following closely from first principles. As to those general principles, the natural law, in the abstract, can nowise be blotted out from men’s hearts. But it is blotted out in the case of a particular action, in so far as reason is hindered from applying the general principle to a particular point of practice, on account of concupiscence or some other passion, as stated above (q. 77, a. 2). But as to the other, i.e. the secondary precepts, the natural law can be blotted out from the human heart, either by evil persuasions, just as in speculative matters errors occur in respect of necessary conclusions; or by vicious customs and corrupt habits, as among some men, theft, and even unnatural vices, as the Apostle states (Rom 1), were not esteemed sinful. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 109, a. 6)

Sacred Scripture

  • Sin introduces lawlessness into the human heart

Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness. (1Jn 3: 4)

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

  • Social structures flawed by the consequences of sin, provide humans with newer inducements to sin

When the structure of affairs is flawed by the consequences of sin, man, already born with a bent toward evil, finds there new inducements to sin, which cannot be overcome without strenuous efforts and the assistance of grace. (Vatican Council II. Pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes, no. 25, December 7, 1965)


5 – Sin expels grace and destroys peace


Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • Sin banishes sanctifying grace, without which peace is not real but merely apparent

Without sin no one falls from a state of sanctifying grace, for it turns man away from his due end by making him place his end in something undue: so that his appetite does not cleave chiefly to the true final good, but to some apparent good. Hence, without sanctifying grace, peace is not real but merely apparent. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, q. 29, a. 3, ad. 1)

  • The good of virtue and grace is entirely taken away by sin

Again, there is the good of virtue and grace: this too has its mode, species and order, and is entirely taken away by sin. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 85, a. 4)

  • After sin, the soul suffers the privation of union with the Divine light

Nothing positive remains in the soul after the act of sin, except the disposition or habit; but there does remain something private, viz. the privation of union with the Divine light. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 86, a. 2, ad. 1)

Benedict XVI

  • Sin: a progressive rejection of peace

Mankind can overcome that progressive dimming and rejection of peace which is sin in all its forms. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XLVI World Day of Peace, no. 3, January 1. 2013)

John Paul II

  • Peace on earth is always a challenge, because of the presence of sin in man’s heart

For Christians, peace on earth is always a challenge, because of the presence of sin in man’s heart. (John Paul II. Message for the celebration of the XV World Day of Peace, January 1, 1982)

  • War is born from the sinful heart of man

Yes, war is born from the sinful heart of man, ever since the jealousy and violence that filled the heart of Cain when he met his brother Abel, according to the ancient biblical narrative. Is it not a question really of an even more profound rupture, when people become incapable of agreeing on what is good and evil, on the values of life of which God is the source and guarantor? Does not this explain the drifting of man’s ‘heart’, when he fails to make peace with his fellowman on the basis of truth, with uprightness of spirit and goodness of heart? (John Paul II. Message for the celebration of the XVII World Day for Peace, January 1, 1984)

Benedict XVI

  • It is only through the Redemption that man can overcome the progressive rejection of peace, and be an authentic peacemaker

To become authentic peacemakers, it is fundamental to keep in mind our transcendent dimension and to enter into constant dialogue with God, the Father of mercy, whereby we implore the redemption achieved for us by his only-begotten Son. In this way mankind can overcome that progressive dimming and rejection of peace which is sin in all its forms: selfishness and violence, greed and the will to power and dominion, intolerance, hatred and unjust structures. (Benedict XVI. Message for the celebration of the XLVI World Day of Peace, no. 3, January 1. 2013)

 


to be continued…

 

Comment on this item of the DzB?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s