Vatican City: (By Benedict Mayaki, SJ) Pope Francis continued his cycle of reflections on the theme of discernment during his catechesis at the Wed
Gujranwala. Peace has been the desire of mankind ever since the history of mankind began. Every person wants peace of mind, peace at home, peace in the society, peace in his/her country and peace in world. Even "Professional Soldiers" want peace. Only the devil hates peace. Lord Jesus Christ has been proclaimed "Prince of Peace". Yet centuries after centuries have gone by but human race is still looking for peace. Once peace was lost by Adam and Eve in Garden of Eden, true peace never retuned to mankind. Sin of man created conflict that resulted in killing of "Abel", the conflict resulted in battles and battles became wars. If we look back in history, we would not find a single day when there was no war on earth. Because of the sin of man the earth has been "cursed" therefore God also lifted the "Peace" from earth. It is written "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; (Genesis Chapter 3 Verse 17) It would not be wrong to state that "Peace" can only be achieved through war. Throughout the history of mankind, wars have been fought to protect the "peace" of "A" country so that the citizens of that country may live in "peace" for "prosperity". Citizens of a militarily week country have always lacked "peace". As long a country or state has a strong army, it has been enjoying "peace and prosperity". You name any "Civilization", its main pillar had always been a strong army and its ability to defeat its enemies and defend its citizens. Lot was delivered by Abraham through war (Genesis 14). Promised Land was taken by Joshua through wars. In Holy Bible, we read that God delivered Israel from bondage of different nation through war. And God sent His people in "exile" as result of war. In the Book of Esther, Jews were delivered through war. God left some nations in Promised Land, so that Israelites may not forget to fight. In 1492 Spain was liberated through war. Europe was liberated from Ottoman Empire through war. And in Twentieth Century it was war that ensured a relatively "Peaceful Europe. World War II came to an end through war. Israel is surviving through war. Pakistan was able to gain its Northern areas and Azad Kashmir through war and defended Pakistan in September 1965 through war. East Pakistan became Bangladesh through war. Soviet Union disintegrated through war. Kuwait was librated from Iraq through war. For a safe and peaceful world, war is still going on in Afghanistan and in Iraq. And last but not least the United States of America got independence through war. As a Soldier, I do agree that war is an undesirable thing yet in my opinion and experience, war becomes a necessity for "Peace". As a soldier, I have never favored war yet, war is an "Inevitable Evil" (If it is an evil) to gain, restore or maintain "peace". "Peace" is the most desirable thing, yet raising "White Flag" does not ensure "Peace". In Sixty years of United Nations Organization the UNO it self had to send troops in various parts of the world to ensure "peace". From Korea to Vietnam, from Far East Asia to South East Asia and the Middle East, From Europe to Africa the United Nation had to resort to war to bring "peace" in that region. August is a month when the whole world mourn the devastation of nuclear bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, yet no body have ever though that Americans who dropped the "terrible bomb" was not "Insane". America was justified to use "Nuclear Bombs" to end the war in Pacific in two weeks time. If nuclear bombs were not used, in my opinion more people would have died in "conventional war and bombing". After World War II, many countries got independence as a result of war. Resolving the differences and disputes between countries, and to avoid war, it is good to "talk". Yet "Peace Talks" have only delayed the disputes not resolved. These "Peace Talks" only bought enough time to get prepared for another war. We the Pakistani people are waiting for "Peace Talks" with India on Kashmir issue that today has become a "nuclear flash point" for last Fifty Seven years, without any result. After 11th September the United States waited for the result of "Peace Talks" for four weeks before it started bombing Afghanistan. Because the "Taliban Regime" did not want "peace". The brutal regime of Saddam Hussein was finally ended as a result of war. (Though "peace" has yet to be achieved in Iraq and Afghanistan, by all means Americans and its allies have won the war in these two countries. What ever is going on that is nothing strange but aftermath of any war. The resistance in Afghanistan and Iraq can only be termed as "Insurgency" that will take its normal time to die down) I would like to ask how long the United States should have waited to get hold of the culprits of "Terrorist Attacks" on World Trade Center and the Pentagon? I do believe in "Peace" and "Peace Talks" yet how long? The result of "Peace Talks" has seldom settled the disputes between two countries and that too has element of military might of the "Parties in Dispute". Today countless "Peace Movements" are very actively involved in anti war efforts. Every day "Seminars" are being held every where in the world. Anti War Organizations are protesting against war all over the world. Song of "Peace" are being sung, yet where is "Peace"? "Peace" was a gift of God to mankind. Condition of eternal "Peace" was obedience to God's command. A "Pact" or "Treaty" (as we call it today) between God and man. Man broke this treaty and adopted evil way. Ever since man broke the "Treaty" with God, man is fighting war on two fronts. The human race declared war on God through its disobedience. It joined hands with Devil, an enemy of human race, and as punishment God lifted "Peace" from earth. Ever since Devil is instigating mankind to wage war against fellow human being and in obedience to Devil man is waging war throughout history of mankind. One may question the commandment of God to fight and destroy the people living in Promised Land. Does God want man to kill another man? Certainly NOT! The sins of the nations in Promised Land brought the wrath of God for there disbelief in All Mighty God. Egypt was not very far off from Promised Land rather it was the center of great civilization and trade. The nation in "Promised Land" had diplomatic and trade relation with Egypt. They all witnessed the wrath of God against Egypt. There people knew how Lord God had brought His people out of bondage of Egypt, yet that did not accept God the Only God. They created obstacles for God's people. They even waged war on His people and challenged the Authority of God the creator of human race. Therefore they themselves called the wrath of God on them. They were not different from the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They refused to submit to God All Mighty and paid the penalty with their destruction. Had they submitted to Lord God they would have become His people. God forgave the people of Nineveh because of their repentance and God forgives all those who repent and obey His Commands. God forgives us when we accept Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him. Yet mere accepting Lord Jesus Christ is not enough. We have to guard our faith in Him. The day we switch over from the "claws" of Devil, we are engaged in a "Spiritual War". Every Christian must fight this war to have "Eternal Peace" not the "Peace" we are looking for on earth, but the "Peace" in "Eternity". On earth we are in constant state of war with Evil forces. The evil forces that we can not defeat at our own but by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Revelation Chapter 19 and 20, we find our Lord at war with the Devil and once Devil is finally and completely defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall find "Eternal Peace". The Word of God teaches us that even Lord Jesus Christ will resort to war against the forces of Devil and after His victory through war, "Peace" will return to man and not before. The "Peace" that is being preached by the earthly "Peace" activists is a "Fragile Peace" which can not last long. Does any body believe that today United States pulls out of Afghanistan and Iraq, "Durable Peace" will be achieved? Defiantly not there would be more and more blood shed in these two countries which is beyond our comprehension, yet "Peace" would not return. As I wrote earlier, man declared war against God with his disobedience. Now man wants "Peace" he/she must come to the "Prince of Peace" our Lord Jesus Christ. It is written, "Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah Chapter 9 Verses 1 to 7) This is the "Peace" we should be looking for; we should be working for "Eternal Peace" is only guarantied through our Faith in Lord Jesus Christ. We can not find "Peace" through "Interfaith Dialog" or "Interfaith Peace and Harmony" or countless "Peace Activists". You or me or any one on the face of earth must have direct dialog with our Lord and not with those who worship "gods that are yet not God". We must not run after "Interfaith Peace and Harmony", we must have perfect harmony among our selves in Lord Jesus Christ, because only our faith in Lord Jesus Christ will lead us to perfect "Harmony" with our Lord and we shall surely see the "Ever Lasting Pease" in Lord Jesus Christ. And if we still chose to stay away from our Lord and Savior, and keep on singing meaningless songs of "Peace", we shall never find "Peace" in this world and the world to come.
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"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti
On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.