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The answer to radicalism is in serving and loving others

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... the lasting answer is not another Crusade against the perpetrators -- the long term answer is in serving others -- sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others.

The terror in Paris last week, the bombings and shootings, are demonstrations of the worst of humanity. The police and law enforcement will find the men and women who did this and they will be brought to justice, hopefully quickly before anyone else is harmed. But that shouldn't help us to feel safer. The people who were motivated to do this were filled with hatred and anger -- not love and hope.

Like all of us -- they have a yearning to be someone -- to achieve something -- to find success and expect happiness. Whether we are aware of or not -- I think this searching, the itching desire, burns in all of us.

For many of these soldiers of hate maybe their hearts turned on days that there was no food, when there was no school to go to, or the school they went to just taught hatred and anger, or they witnessed violence or were treated badly. When they found education they had no jobs and worse no hope for work. They didn't have the inclination nor the opportunity to learn a new trade or skill to find a job -- no one to encourage them. They were starved of hope and found hate, not love, in too many places.

How do we root out the underlying causes of hate and anger?

In last Sunday's reading, in Daniel's "time of unsurpassed distress," God brings forth St. Michael the Archangel as a symbol of hope and love. In Mark's Gospel, after the tribulation we hear of the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. We know he has saved all of us through his own suffering and death. He gives us hope. We know his love. That makes all the difference.

What our country and France and other countries allied in the War on Terror are doing to fight ISIS is treating the symptoms of angry people who have been pushed to the edge of society without hope. Our country is well equipped with the tools to find people and eliminate them -- we have drones and advisors and soldiers.

But the lasting answer is not another Crusade against the perpetrators -- the long term answer is in serving others -- sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others. We are called to be his presence to others.

The answer is in the children. The answer is bringing the hope and love of Jesus Christ to the children throughout the world. Regular meals, a place to go to school for girls and boys, families that can nurture sustain generations of children so they can grow up to be responsible citizens of the world -- not angry people with hearts of stone.

We can start in our own families and reach out to others in our communities through the work in our own parishes, though Catholic Charities in our country and Catholic Relief Services throughout the world to share his message of love and hope. And we can ask our God to inspire each of us with ways to live out his Gospel message in our daily lives.

DEACON TIMOTHY F. DONOHUE IS PERMANENT DEACON ASSIGNED TO ST. THERESA OF LISIEUX PARISH IN SHERBORN AND MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD PARISH IN DOVER.

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