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“Conquest is an evil productive of almost every other evil both to those who commit and to those who suffer it.” (C.S. Lewis)

“The Lord and the apostle [James] teach that peace starts with the human heart. This is true even for our rulers. In the Liturgy of St. Basil we pray “Remember…all civil authorities, grant them a secure and lasting peace; speak good things in their hearts concerning Thy Church and all Thy people, that we, in their tranquility may lead a calm and peaceful life”…Putting these thoughts together, “tranquility,” that is, peacefulness of heart, creates the climate of peace for the Church and for all. But what is true for rulers in their domains is true for us in our spheres of life. We cannot have peace and war at the same time. And warfare begins with the turmoil of our hearts. ” (Fr. Basil)

“One reason why nationalism might never be a Christian virtue is the above exchange between Satan and Jesus [Luke 4:5-8]. Satan claimed all kingdoms of the world belonged to him – and thus all nationalism is his as well. Indeed, Christians who embrace nationalistic ideas are making a bargain with the devil. Jesus resisted any temptation for worldly power – not only did He reject any one kingdom or nation, He also rejected power in and through any and all of them. His interest was in the heavenly Kingdom, not in any one earthly one. Christians of every nation should keep that in mind for all kingdoms/nations will pass away including the ones we now live in (Mark 13:31; 1 Corinthians 2:6). Even the most powerful of worldly nations/kingdoms will pass away, unlike the Kingdom of God which will last forever (Daniel 7:14). Christ calls us to serve not that which is temporary, but that which is eternal.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Even within this Christian universe, political power is invested with sacral meaning. The political authority, however, must respect the “fundamental biblical teaching that the kingdom of God is not to be identified with the concern of the powers of this world. Only the church is the sacramental body of Christ that gives access to the kingdom of heaven.” (Vigen Guroian)

“Throughout the Divine Liturgy, we pray for the peace of the entire world, including “all civil authorities and our armed forces” and for “peaceful times that we, in their tranquility, may lead a calm and peaceful life in all reverence and godliness.” These are prayers for God’s healing mercy to come upon all people in all times and places, and the Church around the world makes these same petitions. We may not exclude any dimension of our lives or any person or group from these prayers. Our Lord’s Kingdom is not the possession of any nation, ethnic group, or other faction, but is open to all who respond to Him with faith, hope, and love. We must treat all our neighbors accordingly and never assume that any aspect of our lives is somehow separate from the calling to become radiant with the divine energies.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“The very metaphor of war ought to make us pause. The phrase “culture wars” is an oxymoron: culture is about nourishment and cultivation, whereas war inevitably involves destruction and the abandonment of the creative impulse.” (Gregory Wolfe)

“It is pretty hard not to notice the divisive political polarity in America these days. All sides hold to their own news sources, have different fears and concerns, are not willing to compromise or cooperate on anything, claim different facts about life, and tend to see the ‘other side’ as lunatics. The divisiveness seems to permeate every aspect of life in America, including church life. It becomes the lens through which people see, measure or understand things. It reminds me of the 1974 song, “There Is A War,” by Leonard Cohen in which he says (humorously, but perhaps wearily) that “There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t.” Can’t seem to agree on anything and even those who say there isn’t a war going on are at war with those who say there is a war going on.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“All too often in our daily experience, we feel ourselves torn by warring influences, spirits of good and evil, that hold us fast in seemingly endless conflict. We want to do the good, yet evil lies close at hand. It’s easy to see why, in order to explain this tension, so many religious traditions, including our own, called on the image of dual spirits that are engaged in constant combat to attain mastery over our bodies, our minds and our feelings.” (Fr. John Breck)

“…violence and war begins primarily in people’s hearts with pride, rancor, hatred and desire for revenge, before it is translated into armaments, open violence and wanton destruction. Thus, peace starts with the formation of consciousness, with conversion of hearts…You see, every physical war first begins with thoughts. First people cannot stand each other; then they begin destroying one another…And when your thoughts become quiet and peaceful, you will see how things change around you.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis, Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“In the original Greek and Hebrew the word “bow” – as in the archer’s weapon – appears where our English translation reads “rainbow,” for neither of the ancient languages has a separate word for rainbow. How ironic that a weapon of war should serve as a “sign of the covenant” for peace and blessing between God and His creation!” (Dynamis 4/6/2021)


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