Peace From Justice
Exploitation and Oppression are Satan’s Work
By Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Peace of soul comes from a good relationship with God. (2).Peace of mind
comes from peace of soul, according to Bishop Sheen. We owe God our
best efforts to fulfill His will and purpose for our lives, Who gives everything
we need to do it with, as well as, great delight in the doing of it. Gifts and tal-
ents should be used as intended. Gifts to be a good nurse shouldn’t be stretch-
ed to become an inferior doctor for greed or prestige. Nor should we neglect
to develop our gifts because of difficulty or laziness. What an injustice to those
who would have been best served by an excellent nurse.
St. Thomas says; (3)the gifts and talents given, will make the kind of work they
were meant for, easy and attractive, fit like hand in glove with the job, mission,
or ministry. Certainly the Holy Spirit leads us to where He wants us to be, and
our Creator provides the opportunities in His divine providence and plan for
each of us, especially if we make our will coincide with His, i.e., do what He
wants to be done through us.
Usually we’re aware of our motives in making these kinds of decisions
knowing if they’re for personal gain, or altruistic for God’s glory and
other’s benefit. Justice, spiritual growth, and humility demand that
we give up self aggrandizement, i.e. seeking wealth, position, and
human respect, or worldly success rather than a good relationship
with God and His people. Going the right way is easier, because
of His help with what He wants done, rather than putting up with
the consequences of sin, and the need to cover up the bad mistakes
and deficiencies. Doing God’s will is never the easiest choice to
make, but easiest to accomplish with God’s help (graces).
If sinfulness is involved, or foreseen as a result of our choices, we can be sure
it’s our wills and certainly not God’s. He wants us to be pure and just. In
(1Jn.4:18), it says: “Perfect love casts out fear”, because only the sinners need
fear the judgment and condemnation of a Maker who can read our hearts
motives). In (1Jn.5:3-4), it says: “They who love God, keep His command-
ments, and they are not burdensome.” That’s because He’s in the yoke with
us pulling His weight, and it fits our talents. We need to know this and believe
it with all our hearts, because it’s scary, knowing that choosing to do God’s
will make us enemies of worldly people. Those who choose mammon, can
persecute us in many ways, when confronted or challenged, as they must be,
if changes are to be made, and their conversion made possible.
So will power is needed and is acquired and strengthened by self denial,
mortification , and prayer. Exercise strengthens the muscles, like self denial
strengthens will power. Mortification enures us to other’s opinions of us
and what we’re doing. God’s laws must be internalized, put into our hearts
where decisions are made from feelings to sin, or from love to do His will.
Our love of God must be stronger than desires to sin by copping out on
what we should do. St. James says, failing to do a good is sinful (Js.4:17).
Meditations on what our soul is worth, and the joys or miseries of eternity
will help us make the right choices.
In heaven’s eternity there’ll be no time, but imagine the time it would take
for a bird flying at 30 miles an hour with one atom of our planetary system
at a time 1000 light years distantand return for others until the whole galaxy
has been moved, and then eternity has only begun after doing this a zillion,
million times… Scary, when you think it could be without God, and be a
plaything of satan forever. Jesus asks what would you give for your salva-
tion? It can’t be bought because it’s worth more than the whole world.
How hard would you work for a million dollars a year? God only asks us
to do His will, not work that hard. What makes it worth so much is that
it’s never easy, because we’re afraid, and would rather not do it for many
We don’t want to imitate the Jesus who overturned the thieving money
changer’s tables and chased out the sellers of over priced sacrifices from
the temple, knowing the effect it would have on the chief priests who must
have on thetake. We are called to transform the Chief priests, Pharisees,
sadducees, scribes, and lawyers of our day, and we don’t want to, espec-
ially if we’re doing all right with the status quo, as most are in this country
People look at reformers as odd-balls, to say the least. And who wants
to follow them rather than success models? Street people sometimes
have a better grasp of what’s really going on.
Breaking the law or copping out on doing God’s will, which is never
ever to sin, naturally brings guilt to the sensitized conscience, and must
be dealt with in one way or another, or it will cause serious mental or
emotional problems. Rationalizing works with most. After all, “We’re
all sinners”, “Who’s perfect”, “We’re only human”! And they say, keep
ing the commandments leads to rigidity of behavior, but even if true, it’s
better than the consequence of sin. All this requires elimination of con-
science and ignoring of the effects of sin on ourselves and others, and the
damage it does to our relationship to God. It’s better to eliminate the
causes of guilt, than try to rationalize it away, which doesn’t always
work with a sensitized conscience, but there’s always alcohol or crack
to eliminate it.
Guilt is meant to influence repentance, bringing the delight and satisfaction of
doing our Creator’s will, which frees us from slavery to sin and its evil conse-
quences. Because of our fallen human natures, it’s never easy to give up sa-
tisfying our passions of body, mind, and feelings. We can’t do it by ourselves,
and proves the need of church, sacraments, and community of God’s people
living and dead. Even intelligence and reason aren’t enough to avoid sin and
accomplish sanctification. Only a sincere commitment and dedication, led by
the Holy Spirit, bringing us to where He wants us to be, doing what He wants
us to do, will work.
This brings peace of soul from which flows peace of mind. It’s difficult, if
not impossible to eliminate conscience in one who’s been made aware of,
or sensitized to the requirements of maintaining a good relationship with
God (obedience). It can’t be done with alcohol, drugs, or rationalizations.
Most people avoid making a commitment to put God first, and live shallow
lives; avoiding making tough decisions, and the knowledge of what should
be done. Isn’t going to church on Sundays enough? Action is required to
prove a commitments to God’s will. “God is pure Love, which is Act”, says
(4) St. Thomas.
Inhibitions or conscience can be temporarily blocked with alcohol or drugs,
when temptation to satisfy recurring urges take over, but then comes guilt,
anxiety, depression, and alienation from God, family, and friends, causing
greater needs for the escapism of emotional highs, or the forgetfulness of
alcohol, and euphoria of drugs with addiction inherent in some generating
the need to use.
If you’re in St. Louis and want to get to San Francisco, you don’t get there by
way of New York, unless you can swim oceans, cross deserts, and climb moun-
tains. It’s like coming to God by way of the devil’s work. God’s not going to
help us to go the wrong way, but will pick us up if we fall trying to do His will,
through all the blind alleys, nasty falls, and formative mistakes made in our jour
ney to Him. No one travels in a straight line, but we can make it straighter if
we learn to read the signs along the way, understanding and accepting His will,
satisfactions, consolations, experiencing the peace, joy, and delight in doing
His will and work.
God even allows us to try on the suit (job/mission) for size. He leads us gra-
dually to the mission or ministry particularly our own, which we will like and
enjoy the most, because it’s most suited to our gifts (St.Thomas). Many Chris-
tians are being attracted to the charismatic movement, which stresses gifts of
the Holy Spirit like tongues, interpretation, healing, deliverance, reading the
Word, charismatic gifts, prayer lists of people to pray for, etc. The emotion-
al high generated can become an end in itself, and too seldom lead to doing
God’s will in peace and justice work, leading to the reign of His Kingdom on
Earth, and persecution in imitation of Jesus. Jesus was and is divisive and
peacemakers must be counter-cultural.
All movements are useful but imperfect pathways to Jesus, and best through
His mother Mary and our Victorious Mother. Jesus alone is perfect; to be
imitated as closely as humanly possible in all facets of His ministry with holy
boldness. People truly open to this, led by the Holy Spirit, can recognize
and accept others of like mind, even though of different denominations, who
are perceived almost instantly as being spirit-led nonetheless, and on the same
wave length. To be effective as another imitator of Jesus, we must eliminate
mortal sin at least from our lives. God accepts us as we are when we commit,
but this is merely a starting point for constantly improving spirituality, actions,
Catholic Pentecostal Charismatics, stress prayer for each other, especially
leaders, who have the prayer of hundreds of thousands of followers praying
for them, and they are indeed charismatic and dramatic in deeds and accomp-
lishments. However, we can all have thousands praying for us and our success
(imitating Jesus) by means of our prayer lists of living and dead saints, who in
their glory will be aware of our prayers for them and pray for us in turn to a
transcendent God giving us the benefits of their prayers for us when we need
them. Give prayers and they come back multiplied.
Most of this has to do with peace of soul and mind, impossible without justice
to God and people, but how about peace with others, the worldly oriented es-
pecially? Can one who is imitating Jesus in His confrontation with injustice,
hypocrisy, and ignorance, be at peace with those so confronted? Peace makers
have to be trouble makers, reformers, or prophets like Jesus and risk His pain-
ful end, or at least persecution. Jesus said; He came to make divisions between
those believing and practicing and those not, even in families.
Those doing evil, consciously or unconsciously, react strongly to God given righteousness, because their lifestyles, goals, and values are tied up in the status
quo that they don’t want changed. Can a reformer like Jesus be a team player,
while rocking the boat, making waves, shaking things up, seeking to change in-
justices in the establishments of society, governments, churches, businesses,
industry, education, etc.? They don’t believe they’re wrong; reformers just don’t
understand, they say. Most likely persecuted like Him, as He said, and the
reason why so few takers. (5) Mahatma Gandhi said, “Christians don’t live
Christians lives”, (imitate Jesus).
If viewed from the perspective that peace is impossible without justice, cer-
tainly one could not be at peace with self when conforming to the bottom line,
downsizing for more profit , and depriving many people of the security of a
livelihood. But are wrongs perceived by those going along with the crowd,
nd want to survive on a level they’re on, or striving for? If the sufferings resul-
ing are perceived, they blame the victims.
(6).We, for the most part, absorb the values of the society and culture we’re
in; conform to our environment and its ethics by osmosis. We in the U.S.
become victims of the W.A.S.P. – Calvinist ethic, i.e.work hard, save, invest,
become healthy, wealthy, and wise, signs of God’s election. A sign of predes-
tined election by God, which could be true, if serious sin is not involved in the
accumulation of wealth and other facets of their lives. The end
(our future and our choices) are known by our transcendent God’s knowledge
of past, present, and future, and that’s predestination.
Peace of soul comes from justice to God and all His people. Look at the
costs of defending ill gotten gains of entrepreneurs and envious aggressive
nations, and their injustice is costly for those not involved, workers and
poor, who do the fighting and dying. God’s way of sharing resources, and
products of labor on the basis of need, would obviate the need for protec-
tion, defense, and wars of aggression.
Injustice tramples on the rights of all to share in the bountiful fruits of labor
and the plentiful resources given by God to make survival possible for all
in our sojourns, wherever we are. How about those excluded from a just
share for whatever reason? Are they wrong for stealing enough to survive,
or any more guilty of evil than those who take more than needed to survive,
also theft. God said; “Earn your food by the sweat of your brow,” and
most of us do work hard, but just distribution of the fruits of labor is mon-
opolized by systems devised to accumulate wealth.
Hebrews 7:1-3 says, Melchisedech, which means king of justice, who
was king of Salem, (city of peace), was greater than Abraham and, a
priest forever (precursor of Jesus) in spite of being without known father
or mother (ancestors), a gentile like us, was able to command respect of
God’s chosen (Abraham). It’s proof that God’s work can be done by
God’s work is made possible when His will becomes our actions in spite of
reluctance and fears. The old testament is replete with admonitions against
cheating and dishonesty; defrauding laborers of the fruits of their work with
dishonest weights and measures, and keeping back just wages, which
St. James says; “Cry out to God” (Js.5:4). But this is how wealth is accum-
ulated. Rerum Novarum, encyclical on the right of people to a job, and to
organize and collectively bargain for a living wage, is ignored by most Cath-
olics and clergy today, because it’s divisive. Means must be devised to make
workers less dependent on systems excluding too many of the possibility of
gainful employment, and in most cases a living wage.
It’s systems that give less than what the work or the products of work are
worth, and charging more than they’re worth when selling, this is the doing
of 666er’s work. Fruits and produce, foods of all kinds, spoil and rot,
making a situation advantageous to the buyer. Durable goods must find
buyers, whom the makers don’t have time to find, making a stress point
for the entrepreneur to take advantage of, and so we have family farms
going under, like getting less for milk on the farm wih no decrease in prices
in the stores, and businesses down sizing for greater profits, resulting in
fewer jobs for greater populations.
Statistics show that fewer are becoming disproportionately richer and more
joining the ranks of the poor with more and more children (over 25%) in poor
families. Is any wonder we have abortions and people living-in, because they
can’t afford kids, rent, or marriage? And latch key kids getting into trouble,
whose parents are both working to eke out a living.
Profit is necessary for our system to function, but what’s a fair profit, and
what’s exorbitant? Injustice can lead to rebellions, like the French Revolution
and the American Revolution, We need reformers like Gandhi, Martin Luther
King, Jack and Bob Kennedy. The aftermath of their efforts didn’t necessarily
result in improved conditions, because of control of worldly affairs by people,
who choose mammon, right or left, liberals or conservatives,too many of
whom are christians
It’s the attitude that says: “Violence is their own fault.” when victims refuse to
put up with injustices, that rationalizes it in the controllers minds. Like that of
business, “Survival of the fittest”, and nonconformists deserve what they get.
(7).What they got were atrocities against protesters of apartheid in South
Africa, (8),and assasination of concerned helpers and leaders in South and
Central America and other third world countries.
The right to own property shouldn’t be a license to exploit workers or consu
mers They say, the prosperity of companies and positions they enjoy have
nothing to do with the efforts of workers, who are expendable and exploited.
It’s only due to the management, financing, and wisdom of the owners?
God’s on the side of the poor, because they’ve made the decision not to do
what it takes to become rich at some point in their life. But where’s our
church’s efforts to promote the implementation of Rerum Novarum and Cen-
tissimus Annus solutions, to the growing numbers of unemployed, underem-
ployed, and minimum wage jobs? It must be because it’s divisive and risks
losing members who profit from, and conform to the systems. Where’s the
opposition to violence used to perpetuate the status quo of the conservative
owners and operators of enterprises? We have the church of the establishment.
2. Peace of Soul, Peace of Mind–Bishop Fulton J. Scheen
3. St. Thomas Aquinas- by G.K Chesterton
4 St. Thomas Aquinas- by G.K Chesterton
5. Mahatma Gandhi–Geffery Ash—Stein&Day
6. Fr.Conen SJ @ P & J Conference, 1984 ?
7. Dry White Season–Movie