Peace continues to elude the nations of earth and has yet to find a firm foothold. War and violence never cease and always seems to explode in every corner of the globe.
The Church has recognized this reality for centuries and detailed her guidance in the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes.
First of all, peace does not only mean the “absence of war.”
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.
Structuring society in this way is a lofty goal, yet it remains the key to establishing lasting peace on earth.
Furthermore, peace can only remain when it is connected to love of neighbor.
Love of neighbor
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.
Peace comes from Jesus Christ and it is important that we recognize this simple reality and always turn to him for guidance.
Living in this violent world can be stressful at times, as it doesn’t seem like peace will ever come.
In reality, wars will continue until this world passes away and God’s reign of love is established.
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).
Violence can only be vanquished with God’s love. When all nations realize this reality, peace will finally come.