Through 30 or more years of air wave communication, I have never heard any commentator speak of the Church as a world power. In an earth shaken by the fear of atomic destruction, commentators today refer only to two sources of restraint upon potential war-minded aggressors: massive military might, and the United Nations. However necessary fearful military equipment may be, it is at best but a negative restraint upon the passions of potential dictators. It cannot transform a warmonger into a lover of peace. The United Nations is a useful public forum for the focus of world opinion. But again it is fundamentally an organization of external pressure. Its range of influence is on the circumference of life. It seeks to shift the balance of nations by outer compulsion. It lacks power to deal with inner motives. Only the Church dares to claim it can change a man’s heart, and wash away lust, greed, hate and fear. Yet, in the affairs of nations, the Church is ignored.

New Power For A New Day

Now, one cannot ignore a hurricane. A sidewalk cannot ignore the root beneath it which by persistent growth eventually splits the concrete pavement in two. Peter, the fisherman disciple of Jesus Christ, was not ignored. The mind and heart of St. Paul could not be ignored. Peter and Paul had access to the source of life like that growing in a twig on a hillside that cracks in twain a granite rock. Equipped with holy boldness, their private prayers and public speech were spiritual hurricanes of faith and love that crumbled the strongest resistance. Slowly but surely, they and the early disciples took over an ancient empire. What life-giving power has the Church lost that it cannot duplicate that experience today? Were the Church to have this ...

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