The announcement this past Friday that President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize created quite a stir in the media, within divergent political circles and around the pro-life movement as well.
It cheapens the award to the point that it means nothing, it’s just a token. He hasn’t done a thing except talk. … So it demeans the prize to the point that it has no significance. And it’s a shame because it belittles all those people that went before.
When I think of peace and Obama, two things stand out as being incongruous. I remember the words spoken by Mother Teresa upon receiving her Nobel Prize. In her acceptance speech, she said a great deal about genuine peace and those things that negate true peace. One memorable line was this: “…the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself.”
The second was the disingenuous nature of the general discussion that ensued once the announcement became public. Perhaps the single most upsetting comment came from the head of the Vatican press office. According to Catholic News Service:
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told journalists October 9 that the news “was greeted with appreciation at the Vatican in light of the president’s demonstrated commitment to promoting peace on an international level and, in particular, in recently promoting nuclear disarmament.”
“It is hoped that this very important recognition would offer greater encouragement for such a difficult but fundamental dedication to the future of humanity so that it may bring about the desired results,” he said in a written statement.
How could anyone at the Vatican be so fogged of brain as to allege that Obama is promoting peace at the same time the man is leading the pro-abortion charge in every corner and at every opportunity?
In addition, there were the remarks given by President Obama himself. The most transparent portion, in my opinion, being the following:
And even as we strive to seek a world in which conflicts are resolved peacefully and prosperity is widely shared, we have to confront the world as we know it today. I am the Commander-in-Chief of a country that’s responsible for ending a war and working in another theater to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people and our allies. I’m also aware that we are dealing with the impact of a global economic crisis that has left millions of Americans looking for work. These are concerns that I confront every day on behalf of the American people.
The Vatican spokesman talks about the “future of humanity” and Obama mentions a “ruthless adversary.” Neither man takes note of the millions of innocent preborn children who die in a sea full of self-absorption, self-adulation and false hyperbole designed to persuade the world that Mother Teresa must have been off her keel while men like Obama are the real peacemakers.
But it is exactly because of situations like this one that we strive to keep reminding the world — especially those whose heady positions have robbed them of their rational thought process. Until we stop murdering innocent children for any reason or no reason, there will not be peace anywhere, from the family to the community to the state to the world. There cannot be peace until the war on the innocent ceases.
One Nobel Peace Prize recipient understood the quintessence of peace as it can only be, while the other disregards the worldwide war against preborn babies, as he claims that he is committed to confronting adversaries allegedly threatening America and her allies.
These two people are oceans apart in their perspectives on the true nature of peace. Mother Teresa knew well, as she said near the end of her Nobel lecture:
[W]e must live life beautifully, we have Jesus with us and He loves us. If we could only remember that God loves me, and I have an opportunity to love others as He loves me, not in big things, but in small things with great love…
Please note that it was not the platitudes that made Mother Teresa a champion of peace; it was her actions in caring for the poor, the dying and the mothers who turned to her instead of the abortionist, and in her clear, publicly enunciated devotion to Christ who is peace.
On this true meaning of peace, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is eloquent:
2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is “the tranquility of order.” Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.
2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the messianic “Prince of Peace.” By the blood of his Cross, “in his own person he killed the hostility,” he reconciled men with God and made his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union with God. “He is our peace.” He has declared: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
Those words, “respect for the dignity of persons and peoples,” represent the nucleus, the very basis of true peace. The blood-soaked opposite of peace is what we are witnessing in this nation today under the guise of “freedom of choice.” The maiming, the killing, the dying continues even as the president basks in the glory of his latest achievement. True peace has eluded him, as has its very meaning, which is Christ who suffered and died to teach us that peace requires self-sacrifice and unconditional love.
What does peace really mean? Let us not look to Norway to discover the answer but to Christ, who is the only way to true peace.