Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 26 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Paula of St. Joseph Calasanz
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

St. John Paul II’s formula for defeating evil in the world

POPE JOHN PAUL II

Derrick CEYRAC | AFP

Philip Kosloski - published on 01/15/21

He firmly believed that evil and violence in the world could only be defeated with goodness.

It is tempting to “fight fire with fire,” especially when dealing with violence or injustice in the world.

However, St. John Paul II believed that fighting evil with more evil would only create problems.

In a message for the Word Day of Peace in 2005, the Polish pontiff explained his reasoning.

For the theme of this 2005 World Day of Peace I have chosen Saint Paul’s words in the Letter to the Romans: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (12:21). Evil is never defeated by evil; once that road is taken, rather than defeating evil, one will instead be defeated by evil. The great Apostle brings out a fundamental truth: peace is the outcome of a long and demanding battle which is only won when evil is defeated by good.

This can be a challenging message, especially when we feel threatened by evil in the world.

Yet, St. John Paul II remains steadfast in his message to combat evil, in all its forms, with good.

If we look to the present state of the world, we cannot help but note the disturbing spread of various social and political manifestations of evil: from social disorders to anarchy and war, from injustice to acts of violence and killing. To steer a path between the conflicting claims of good and evil, the human family urgently needs to preserve and esteem that common patrimony of moral values bestowed by God himself. For this reason, Saint Paul encourages all those determined to overcome evil with good to be noble and disinterested in fostering generosity and peace (cf. Rom 12:17-21) … This fight can be fought effectively only with the weapons of love. When good overcomes evil, love prevails and where love prevails, there peace prevails.

If we desire peace in the world and an end to division and violence, we must counteract it with charity and goodness. Otherwise we will be only adding fuel to the flames.


MARY

Read more:
Entrust world peace to Mary, Queen of Peace


DOVES

Read more:
Prayer for peace and harmony to spread over the earth

Tags:
Pope John Paul IISpiritual Life
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
500 YEARS OF CHRISTIANITY
J-P Mauro
A song to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines
4
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
5
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
6
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Padre Pio says this is a sin that’s difficult to forgive &#...
7
Palm Sunday
Philip Kosloski
10 Lenten traditions you might see at Mass
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.