The following is excerpted from the International Augustinian Justice and Peace newsletter, which is edited by Arthur Purcaro O.S.A., an Assistant General of the Order of Saint Augustine and a peace worker. He is a citizen of the United States of America.
The only true remedy for terrorism is to remove its causes. Acts of revenge will not cure hatred.
In order to eliminate the evil scourge of terrorism it is necessary to address the problems and situations in which terrorism is cultivated.
You can eliminate millions of mosquitoes and millions more will take their place.
You have to dry the swamp that breeds them. In this case, the swamp is the poverty and the exclusion that engulf the lives of so many people.
The swamp is also the denial of human dignity, the lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom, and the intolerable situations of refugees.
All these are breeding ground only waiting to be exploited by terrorists.
In place of the buildings so tragically destroyed in New York, along with the many lives interrupted and damaged as a consequence, now is the time to make plans for the twin towers of peace and justice to be built.
Sixteen centuries ago, while the Roman Empire was crumbling, Augustine reflected on the edification of society on Christian values.
His thought is captured in his book, City of God,
but it is also reflected in his preaching and other writings, as well as his effort to organise communities around the principles of Christ.
The wisdom of Augustine enlightens us again today. He said in his Commentary on Psalm 85: "Mercy and truth have met: justice and peace have kissed each other." Do justice, and you shall have peace; that justice and peace may kiss each other."
"For if you do not love justice, you shall not have peace; for those two, justice and peace, love one another, and kiss one another so that the one who has done justice may find peace embracing justice."
"They are two friends: you perhaps desire the one, and not the other: for there is no one who does not desire peace: but all will not work for justice. Ask everyone, do you desire peace? With one voice the whole human race answers: I wish, I desire, I want, I love peace."
"Love also justice: for these two, justice and peace are friends; they kiss one another: if you do not love the friend of peace, peace itself will not love you, nor come to you."
"For how extraordinary is it to desire peace? Every bad person longs for peace. For peace is a good thing. But do justice, for justice and peace kiss one another, they do not quarrel among themselves." (Commentary on Psalm 85, 9)
From the Augustinian international Justicia + Pax newsletter. ID0239