20 September 2009

Cultivate some peace!

In the post directly below this one, I ask why the Church in the U.S. is so divided right now. My answer is too esoteric, too. . .vague, I guess.

In today's Mass readings, James gives us an inspired answer:

Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

When James says that we do not possess because we do not ask, I take him to mean that we do not have what we need to have peace among us because we do not pray ("ask") to possess peace among us. If we manage to pray for peace, we do not receive it as the gift it is. And if we manage to receive it as the gift that it is, we spend it fruitlessly in passionate excess.

The solution to this difficult problem? James writes, ". . .the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace."


  1. Thanks for the great article. I would like to add one thing, though. While I agree we should pray for peace, I think St. James is teaching us a more fundamental lesson: conflict arises because we are trying to fulfill our needs and desires, but others are not cooperating or are in the way. James wants us to bring our needs to God rather than fighting for them. He also wants us to examine our desires to be sure we're not just chasing after our disordered passions. I think this is also applicable to the divisions we see in the Church today. We should be asking ourselves if we are seeking God's will, or an agenda coming from our own preferences. Even if we are trying to accomplish God's will, is the foundation of our action prayer and trusting God which leads to patience, or do we move ahead of God and resort to bickering and worldly means of conflict which do not demonstrate the love of God?

  2. If'in ya said 'it's 'cause of them thar Rockefellers' then your answer would've been.....wait for it.....too.....ESSO derrick

  3. I know lots of people who pray for "world peace"....but very few who actually have any understanding what "world peace" would look like.