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Safe Guarding Peace

By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill," our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. "To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit," but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice." If anger reaches the point of desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, "Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."

Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."

Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples. and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is "the tranquility of order. " Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.

Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the messianic "Prince of Peace." By the blood of His Cross, "in His own person he killed the hostility," He reconciled men with God and made His Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of it's union with God, "He is our peace." He has declared: "Blessed are the peacemakers."

Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest bear witness to evangelical charity, provide they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness of the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death.

Respect For the Dignity of Persons.

Respect for the souls of other: scandal

Scandal is an attitude or behavior, which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if the deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep clothing's.

Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or , make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true in business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger," or manipulators of the public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"

The Ten Commandments

"Teacher, what must I do...?"

"Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" To the young man who asked this question, Jesus answers first by invoking the necessity to recognize God as the "One there is who is good," as the supreme Good and the source of all good. The Jesus tells him: "If you would enter life, keep the commandments." And he cites for his questioner the precepts that concern love of neighbor: You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother." Finally Jesus sums up these commandments positively: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

To this first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me." This reply does not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. The Law has not been abolished, but Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synaptic Gospels, Jesus' call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call poverty and chastity. The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments.

Jesus acknowledged the Ten Commandments, but he also showed the power of the Spirit at work in the letter. He preached a "righteousness [which] exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees" as well that of the Gentiles. He unfolded all the demands of the Commandments. "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill.'...But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."

When someone asks him, "Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?" Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.." The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of the twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law:

The commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

What is Love?

*If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge: if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. *If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, is not inflated, * it is not rude, it does not seek it's own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. "It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. *So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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