Since today is Memorial Day here in the United States of America, I found it fitting to discuss what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on peace and the avoidance of war. Memorial Day is the day where we commemorate the lives of our armed forces veterans, those still with us, and the ones who gave their lives defending our great nation. If you attend Mass today or spend some time in Eucharistic Adoration, please offer up some prayers for the souls of veterans. They need and deserve our prayers.
Let us also pray for the souls of the veterans that died waiting for treatment at our Veteran Affairs facilities and those still waiting for treatment currently. Pray that they receive the necessary health care they need at this time.
We should always give thanks and pray for our veterans, most especially on this day.
The Catechism teaches that…
CCC 2327: Because of the evils and injustices that all war brings with it, we must do everything reasonably possible to avoid it. The Church prays: “From famine, pestilence, and war, O Lord, deliver us.”
CCC 2328: The Church and human reason assert that permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflicts. Practices deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes.
CCC 2329: “The arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race and the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured” (Gaudium et spes 81.3)
CCC 2330: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mt 5:9).
For a more detailed account of these teachings, I would encourage you to read CCC 2302-2317. In these paragraphs, special attention should be given to CCC 2309 since it’s this paragraph that focuses on the Just War Doctrine. Although the Church seeks to avoid war at all costs, there are times when the Church teaches that a nation has the right to defend itself when provoked.