Saturday, October 4, 2008

I read somewhere that ethics is the test of anyone's philosophy. Some philosophers have no ethic; others have an ethic, but it's not do-able. Philosopher Peter Kreeft, I find (to no one's surprise), is both ethical and practical.

I came across this paragraph this morning in Kreeft's discussion of "Justice," one of the Cardinal Virtues:

Some say the road to peace is justice. Some say the road to justice is peace. I say the only way to justice, between nations in the world or between individuals in families, is to stop demanding justice and seek forgiveness instead. Seek it and also give it. It's hard to get from injustice to justice in places like Palestine, but it's always possible to get to forgiveness. For we can't get to justice just by choosing it, but we can get to forgiveness just by choosing it. Warring Israelis and Palestinians will never stop accusing each other of injustices, because they are both right. Each side keeps committing injustices against the other. That's the basic fact, even if one side is more unjust than the other, and even if one "started it." They will never find a mutually acceptable justice. Neither will any pair of feuding spouses, friends, or nations. The more we demand justice, the more we demand our rights, the harder it will be to achieve them, except by force. The only road to peace is radical forgiveness. Jesus didn't talk about justice, He talked about forgiveness.

I read that paragraph and thought about our families and our churches and about us. There are three things I hope we will keep saying to one another.

1. I love you.
2. I forgive you.
3. Please forgive me.


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