No less than on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life – it is not only relevant and urgent but also timely and compelling that no less than Pope Francis himself directly and clearly addressed the inhumane and even deadly curse brought about by war for material, ideological and even religious causes. So it is that upon a closer study of and more profound reflection on the fatal phenomenon of war, it is both quite difficult and rather improbable that there would be true and lasting peace among the constituent parts of humanity when the latter altogether ignore if not even deny the existence and intervention of divinity – even on earthly issues. This is why long before the coming of Christianity in the world, belief in the wrong or false god or non-belief in God at all was the usual underlying cause of war among people of the same or different races, colors and tongues. If there were no God, how come there is man? Did he make himself? Or is he but a “finished” animal?
This is not even saying anything about seemingly godly individuals – particularly legitimate or illegitimate leaders from the local to the regional, from the national to the international levels – who in reality are practicing atheists and who look at man as altogether divorced from God Who is his creative origin and final destiny. These so-called leaders are not simply potential but actual warlords even in today's world. The fact is that world peace appears rather elusive particularly during these times of practical atheism if not basically errant religious belief.
By the way, in terms of its implications and consequences, peace is the fullness of life. Otherwise, it would not be altogether erroneous to say that there is peace in cemeteries. So it is that when rifles are not fired and/or bombs are not dropped, these do not necessarily mean the reign of peace. The truth is that peace also stands for harmony and pursuant development, for unity and consequent progress of humanity.
This is no underestimating the evil brought by war to sinners and saints alike, to the warriors as well as to the civilians, not only to the vicious but also the virtuous, to the elderly and the children as well. It has to be emphasized that peace is much more than just the mere absence of war, although war can be rightfully considered as the apex of human misery. Instead of food, shelter and clothing, guns, bullets and bombs are produced and used. In place of harmony and understanding, hatred and violence are instead sown and actually made to reign among a people if not among nations.
Lastly, there is no such thing as a “Just War” - for any “just cause” with any “just intention” and other supposedly excusing factors or alleged noble rationalizations. Reason: “The end does not justify the means”. To wage war in order to have peace, to kill in order to save lives, to destroy in order to build and the like – these are some of the irrational arguments for waging wars. In other words, there must be other ways and means to have and maintain peace. It is truth that ushers in justice. And it is justice that brings about peace and development.