The Perspective of Justice

Not Losing Heart

Today’s liturgy is about the “necessity of praying always and not losing heart.” Moses and Aaron discovered something about prayer when they fought the battle with Amalek: “As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight.”

We are today in a mortal struggle with dangerous enemies that threaten to kill us: deprivation, oppression, alienation, and aggression. We must do what God’s people did in the desert. We must engage in battle with the enemy, throwing the best of our forces into the struggle.

And we must hold up our hands in prayer to the God who is our source of power and will give us strength.

  “The Lord is your guardian; the Lord is your shade; he is beside you at your right hand.” We have a God who rescues us from death and feeds us in time of famine.
Our faith in that God should make it possible to fight with confidence against the social evils like poverty and war which often seem to have the better of the fight.

Peace is but an empty word, if it does not rest upon … an order that is founded on truth, built up on justice, nurtured and animated by charity, and brought into effect under the auspices of freedom.

So magnificent, so exalted is this aim that human resources alone, even though inspired by the most praiseworthy good will, cannot hope to achieve it. God himself must come to man’s aid with his heavenly assistance, if human society is to bear the closest possible resemblance to the kingdom of God.

Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, 1963: 167-68

Gerald Darring


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson