Dearly Beloved in Christ"
We need to storm heaven for peace! Our world has
never needed almighty God's intervention in the peace process more than it does
right now. At home, we have just completed the bitterest election in our
history, and the "diehards" seem to want to lengthen the bitterness
even more. We need to get on to the business of good government for all of
our citizens. Now!
In the Arab world the horrors of war continue, with little
attempt on any side to bring justice and, yes, even mercy and compromise to the
turmoil and agony of hundreds of thousands of human beings who have been at war
since our Blessed Lord left this earth. The never ending struggle for
power among petty princes and other heads of state wearies the entire world, in
which nearly every country has a stake in the efforts of both war and
peace. The slaughter of innocent victims of man's "inhumanity to
man" shows its ugly head each day. Unspeakable atrocities that most
civilized peoples had though vanished with Attila the Hun or the wives of
Henry VIII persist throughout the Near East. The pretenders to
decency and respectability in Europe, having their own agenda, turn their heads
from either side.
The Holy Land remains another hotbed where the
Semitic peoples war against each other as they have since our Blessed Lord
tried to teach them a law of love—to no avail!
Here at home., our continuing struggles with moral issues
have taken on epidemic proportions. Those identifying themselves as
"Catholics" actually speak in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage,
and they close their eyes to the God-lessness of abortion. Catholics
indeed! Often enough we have no real idea of what the so called
established religions are teaching their flocks—certainly not the word of
Christ, all too often! Christianity—at almost every level of
"influence"—continues to dilute the very moral fiber of Sacred
Scripture and Tradition. Our courts continue to write new laws based on a
legendary interpretation of the supreme law of the land that would make
Washington, Jefferson and Franklin do cartwheels in their graves, rather than
properly interpret adequate existing legislation. Tycoons get even
greedier, if that is possible, and bilk the people of decency as well as their
pocketbooks. "Legal eagles" fight with medicine men, and the
clients and patients remain the victims of both sides. And alas! The
almighty media continue to pit their philosophical position against the other.
And where is the peace? It exists virtually
nowhere. We have drummed our God out, not only from our schools and other
public properties, but all too often out of our own homes and, yes, even out of
our churches! The churches have become the "Bare ruined choirs"
that William Wordsworth once wrote about, but they are still standing and
seemingly are still in use.
We need to storm heaven for peace—every day, every week,
every month. We need genuine prayer and genuine devotion. And we
need to have prayer and devotion accompanied by the deeds that will make true
peace a reality among all people everywhere. It must begin with me and it
must be spread to each one of us. Most of us need to learn listening
skills and compromise. We need patience and we need love and compassion
for all peoples everywhere—is that not what Christianity is all about? I
beg you, as your spiritual leader, to do all you can to bring peace into your
own life and to all you meet.
With every good wish and prayerful blessing. I am
devotedly yours in Christ.
+ John J. Humphreys
The Most Reverend John J. Humphreys, Archbishop