This reflection is now available in Daniel P. Horan, OFM’s book Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century: Selected Reflections from the Dating God Blog and Other Essays, Volume One (Koinonia Press, 2013).

18 Comments

    1. Psalm 58:10 —- The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe in the blood of the wicked

      1. Psalm 137:9 — “Happy shall they be who take your children and dash them against the rock!”

        Ryan, I would be very careful about which texts are used out of context, especially as it concerns violence and Christian action. That is, unless you feel that we should be killing children violently as much as the righteous should bathe in the blood of the wicked. We must always remember that Scripture is the normative source of theology, but not the only nor is it the literal source.

  1. Thanks for this and your earlier post.

    I read that some outside the White House sang “We are the champions… of the world.” If that’s true, the country is in a sorry state and needs your wisdom.

    Blessings

  2. I was having a difficult time dealing with this! I know what the bible says and would agree, but then I think of all the lives that were lost that day! I don’t know, I’m just confused!

    1. A better response? Interesting, but I humbly disagree. I am very proud of the Navy SEALs for their ethical pursuit of Bin Laden and the admirable job they did. I cannot rejoice in his death. Can someone’s “rejoicing” ever be an act of the will? I did not choose to be saddened by the death of Bin Laden–it was a natural response. I think it flows from the Eucharist that I shared in Mass Sunday morning and the way that God has moved in my heart. If a person does rejoice, it is not a choice…it simply “is” what it “is”.

  3. Vengence belongs to the lord God and Christ. When I heard on the news about finally getting revenge on what Mr. Laden did after 9-1-1, just the mere word revenge alone made me want to preach the good news.

    Vengece you don’t have the right to do so, carry out God’s job of revenge then you are in the wrong… not others.

    1. Romans 13:1-5 states clearly that government is God’s servant to punish the wicked. That is not revenge. Pay particular attention to verse 4.

      “1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. “

  4. Take a look at Romans 13:1-5, especially verse 4:

    “1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. “

  5. You cannot read Romans 13 without Romans 12:14 or perhaps the context of how we got kings in the first place.
    1Sam.8
    [5] And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
    [6] But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
    [9] Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
    [10] And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
    [11] And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
    [18] And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
    [19] Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

  6. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog! eebgdeecgaec

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