Friday, April 18, 2014

Sequel to 3 Pillars of Diplomacy

There are lots of nice thoughts in this video of Fr. Barron's on the Meaning of Easter, but what he says about the nature of Christ's victory later in the video has a singular importance for me. He says in effect that contrary to the wisdom of this world, superior strength, greater violence cannot ultimately win the victory over perpetrators of evil in our world; the victory belongs to Christ alone in the glory of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

In a piece I wrote at the end of March, I intimated that in the world of diplomacy today where most interlocutors refuse to be bound by the natural law and tend even to ignore that body of customary law which we call international law, the third pillar, deterrence, whether armed or economic, looms bigger than it should, no longer as ultima ratio but as sine qua non for those who would practice diplomacy.

You can argue, if you wish, that the world has never been without its "bad boys", but the point is that the world has probably never believed less than today that at some point the Terrible Judge will take His seat upon the Throne and judge both the living and the dead. With all three pillars in place, I think one can argue for the Holy See's role in the diplomatic world, not only for cultivating relations of a positive nature among powers on an ordinary, everyday basis, but also calling to order, by appealing to the principles of the first two pillars in times of crisis. Without those first two, however, what is the point of jumping into the snake-pit without means of defense? Those who can must indeed stand up for the rights of others in this our world without justice. Those who can must indeed insist that within the community of nations and powers pacts are to be respected and held sacred. More than ever before, for the sake of justice, deterrence is a solemn obligation. It does not stem from such, however, that the Pope needs to raise an army or gather arms; the Church's role in identification with the Bridegroom, Christ, is another.

Such thoughts loom all the larger on this Good Friday, kneeling at the foot of Jesus' Cross, confessing that ultimate victory for me and for our world is in Him and in His Victory achieved through succumbing to violence and embracing death through crucifixion.

It is hard to have confidence in the world's diplomacy, deprived as it is of that sense of fear and trembling for our accountability before the judgment seat of God. What sort of truth or justice can there be in a world which ignores the Creator, Redeemer and Judge of mankind? We need to keep reminding and storming the doors of hardened hearts and heads, in hopes they will finally soften up and open wide for the King of Glory!

Behold the Wood of the Cross on which hung the Savior of the World!

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