Office of Readings from 31st Sunday
Peace is not merely the absence of war; nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies; nor is it brought about by dictatorship. Instead, it is rightly and appropriately called an enterprise of justice. Peace results from that order structured into human society by its divine Founder, and actualized by men as they thirst after ever greater justice. The common good of humanity finds its ultimate meaning in the eternal law. But since the concrete demands of this common good are constantly changing as time goes on, peace is never attained once and for all, but must be built up ceaselessly. Moreover, since the human will is unsteady and wounded by sin, the achievement of peace requires a constant mastering of passions and the vigilance of lawful authority.
But this is not enough. This peace on earth cannot be obtained unless personal well-being is safeguarded and men freely and trustingly share with one another the riches of their inner spirits and their talents. A firm determination to respect other men and peoples and their dignity, as well as the studied practice of brotherhood are absolutely necessary for the establishment of peace. Hence peace is likewise the fruit of love, which goes beyond what justice can provide.
That earthly peace which arises from love of neighbor symbolizes and results from the peace of Christ which radiates from God the Father. For by the cross the incarnate Son, the prince of peace reconciled all men with God. By thus restoring all men to the unity of one people and one body, He slew hatred in His own flesh; and, after being lifted on high by His resurrection, He poured forth the spirit of love into the hearts of men.
For this reason, all Christians are urgently summoned to do in love what the truth requires, and to join with all true peacemakers in pleading for peace and bringing it about.
Motivated by this same spirit, we cannot fail to praise those who renounce the use of violence in the vindication of their rights and who resort to methods of defense which are otherwise available to weaker parties too, provided this can be done without injury to the rights and duties of others or of the community itself.
Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ. But insofar as men vanquish sin by a union of love, they will vanquish violence as well and make these words come true: "They shall turn their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4).
What is of note here is there cannot be peace without living out Gaudium et spes #24. The person must be constitutively in the praxis of giftedness to the others. Consider that in a structure which is understood to be ideological such as capitalism, peace can never be ongoing. Capitalism, by and in itself, is centered on the individual and his possession of private property for himself. If he is outgoing, it is in spite of the intrinsic logic of the ideology. It is accidental. And so, the rebuttal to this is not yet another ideology such as socialism which rotundly collapsed after a 70 year horrific experiment Rather, it will be the turn to the working person who achieves subsidiarity in the praxis of solidarity where work is the subject subduing himself in the process of subduing the earth, finding himself and gaining private property. But as self itself, the property cannot be "for" self, but must be put at the disposition of the others. Without moving from an objective system as ideology to subjective person as worker, the economic systems will always be subverting peace. The ontological and epistemological depths at play here consists in understanding that there are two levels of experience in the human person producing two epistemological horizons: subject and object. They are not mutually exclusive but complementary, and necessarily so. Consult Pope Francis' homilies on same, Wojtyla's "Love and Responsibility," his "Acting Person," and essays in his Person and Community.