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The Duty to Fight - II

The War that Jesus Christ Came to Bring

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Having presented the presupposition of the war that must be fought against the world, the flesh and the Devil, I now turn to the text of St. Ignatius: "Consider the war that Jesus Christ came to bring from Heaven to Earth."

christ as warrior

I came not to bring peace, but the sword (Mt 10: 34)

The words are shocking, because people are accustomed to think that Our Lord Jesus Christ came to bring peace. However, St. Ignatius begins his meditation with all naturality by saying: "Consider the war that Jesus Christ came to bring from Heaven to Earth."

How different this is from the pacifism that pervades the contemporary world! What a splendid meditation, for example, for Christmas Eve: Our Lord Jesus Christ appears on Earth, He came as a warrior to bring war!

And the quote to confirm his statement is impeccable: "Non veni pacem mittere, sed gladium" (I came not to bring peace, but the sword. Mt 10: 34) They are words Our Lord used to describe Himself. With this, there is no escape. For if He did not come to bring peace, but the sword, then He came to bring war on Earth.

Thus the meditation begins, with all Ignatian naturality, taking the declaration of war as a matter of fact, as a presupposition: "Jesus Christ came to bring war to Earth."

Our Lord wants war against our enemies

Now, the second point of St. Ignatius: "Consider, then, that He, summoning all men, and you among them, declares that His resolve is to make war on His enemies – and our enemies: the world, the flesh and the Devil."

christ eucharist as infant

A good meditation: Imagining Christ at Bethlehem giving the command to fight

Imagine, for example, Our Lord Jesus Christ truly present as He is in the Eucharist, but in a living, sensible way, telling us: "There are certain enemies that are My enemies: the world, the Devil and the flesh. They are not only My enemies, but also the enemies of each one of you, because they want to tear you away from Heaven and throw you into Hell. I come to make this proposal to you: Let us make war against these common enemies."

Notice the difference between His conduct and that of earthly governments. The latter call for war against the enemy of the State – in the time of St. Ignatius it would be the enemy of the King – who at times might not be the enemy of private individuals.

For example, the enemies Hitler attacked were not at all enemies of the Germans; they were people he attacked to satisfy his megalomania. With Our Lord Jesus Christ it is different: He leads us in the attack against our worst enemies, who desire for us the worst of evils – in this case, Communism and Progressivism.

Our Lord Jesus Christ appears in all His perfection and tells us: "Here is Communism, here is Progressivism: I call you to war against these enemies."

Our Lord imposes conditions

These are the conditions Our Lord places for the battle He invites us to:

1. That He leads the fight – For such a war, He sets as a condition that, as a King, He leads the battle. Earthly kings send others to fight in the front. It is very unusual today to hear about a Head of State – crowned or uncrowned – who died in a war. They give the command, "Forward march," but they remain behind. On the other hand, Our Lord Jesus Christ leads the troops, as we shall see later.

devil

Christ assists each one of us in the battle against the world, the flesh & the Devil

2. That He suffer the greatest hardships of war – St. Ignatius continues: "And He will be the first to suffer the hardships of war." When they go to war, the Heads of State have excellent tents or quarters (as indeed they should), are very well served, etc. But this is not the case with Our Lord Jesus Christ. No, He takes the worst hardships of war upon Himself.

3. That the reward go to the soldiers – "He is first in the risks of combat, the first to receive the wounds; then, after that, after the victory, the whole prize must go to His soldiers." He takes the prize and distributes it all to the soldiers. This is definitely not the custom of Heads of State.

He is so majestic a King, but also so good, that He enters the field at the front of the fight, like a good shepherd defending his sheep. He simply invites the sheep to fight.

 Application to our days

In the case of Progressivism in the Church, Our Lord shows us this enemy who is striving to drag us into heresy, and thus to the death of our soul (for in this way we fall into mortal sin and the death of the soul). Our Lord Jesus Christ wants to take the lead in this war against Progressivism, He wants the bear all the load. But the prize will be ours; for if we defeat Progressivism, we will be the ones who will receive the prize.

knight

Catholics cannot refuse Christ's call to fight the enemies of our day: Progressivism & Communism

In the case of Communism, it is the same. He goes ahead, He takes all the risks (we will see late what this means), but the prize will be ours. Communism is our terrible enemy. Only look at what it is doing in Chile and Russia. Russia lives on the wheat we supply, according to all the newspapers, even the communist newspapers. [Dr. Plinio was speaking in 1973]

This is because the communist regime impoverishes the people, spreading misery everywhere. Even more: it causes souls to be lost by its intrinsic immorality, its atheist character.

Our Lord then says: "I will take the lead in this fight against Communism. Will you join me? I will take the initiative in the fight against Progressivism. Will you come with me?"

Imagine, therefore, Our Lord Jesus Christ addressing these words directly to us. Which one of us would dare to say "No"?

This invitation is not an imaginary invitation, it is real. This is because it is our duty to fight Progressivism, to fight Communism, and Our Lord Jesus Christ at every moment calls us to fulfill our duty. It is a real invitation, not an imaginative one. The only imaginary thing is that we cannot see Him physically, but everything else is true. The only thing lacking is to see Him with our eyes; but all the rest is the reality of the situation that we are in.

It is up to us now to fulfill our part in the fight

His question to us is this: “Will you continue the battle? Will you be the link between the valiant warrior fighters of times past and those still to come in the future? Will you be this golden link? Here is the road that awaits you. Will you fight against the enemies of the Church?"

Here I pause a moment and ask who in response to this question, who among you has the audacity to say "I do not want to"? For, placed before these reasonings of St. Ignatius, it is absurd to refuse this sublime invitation. It would be such a contradiction, such a show of cowardice, that it leaves us speechless.

The only possible answer is: "My Lord, I want to fight! Give me the strength to do so." It is extremely logical. If the Catholic Faith is true, the individual has to fight for it; he must be a selfless, ardent fighter, like Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Continued

Posted April 25, 2022