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THE SOWERS OF DISCORD AND THE PEACEMAKERS

Sowers of discord must realize that this makes them followers of the rebel angel: "An enemy has done this." Solomon adds, ". . .an apostate, an unprofitable man walketh with a perverse mouth. With a wicked heart he deviseth evil and at all times he soweth discord."

A sower of discord is first called an apostate; for unless he has first fallen away from God, like the proud angel, he would not sow discord. Discord is the external restlessness that shows that one has no spiritual roots to sustain him.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. Surely, those who disturb the peace are the children of Satan. All those who, by discord, cut themselves off from the sap of love, become withered branches. Even though they display in their actions fruits of well-doing, these are, in fact, no fruits at all, because they do not spring from the unity of love.

In perpetrating one single discord, they root out all virtues from the human heart. In one single sin of malice, they work innumerable other sins; but, sowing discord, they extinguish charity. And since nothing is more esteemed by God than the virtue of charity, nothing is more desired by the devil than its extinction.

He, then, who sows discord and thus destroys charity in others, serves God's enemy. 

The peacemakers must know with whom to make peace. It is harmful if there is no unity of peace among the good. It is harmful if there is unity with the wicked. To have unity with the wicked in their iniquity is to strengthen their wickedness by your agreement with their evilness, which in turn will make them vigorously afflict the good.

The wicked are never  united with one another; they are only united in slaughtering the good. He who is united to the wicked adds to their strength in persecuting the good. The Sadducees and the Pharisees were united in persecuting Paul but their beliefs in the resurrection were contradictory.

The peacemakers must first instill in the hearts of the wicked the benefits of inward peace; this will prevent them from hurrying towards wickedness. This inward peace will inspire them to aim at eternal peace. But before working for peace in others, we must work for it in our own hearts and maintain it.

St. Gregory the Great: Pastoral Care, Chapter 23, Part III

 

 


 

(12-19-02)

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