In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, we are told, among other things, that love is patient and kind, and that it bears and endures all things.
How are we, then, to reconcile love, which the Christian is, as I understand it, to practice at all times, with the practices engaged in in both the operations of civil law and of waging war?
IIf love is (always?) patient, then, ought we not to go to war as quickly as we do and have done in the past with our enemies? Some would argue, however, that q quick response to enemy aggression acts not only as a swift penalty but also as a deterrent of future agrgression against our state and that it also acts to ensure greater protection of our citizens. (I think many other nation-states throughout history have seen it in this way.) Even with all that said, though, is such swift response not permitted by Christian/Catholic teaching? Furthermore, in law, should we be less swift to implement certain legal penalties with criminals than we are? Still here, similar arguments to those I just cited in the case of swift action to war might be sighted in this case as well. Still, does Christian teaching urges us on to greater patience in executing legal punishment?
And, what of kindness? By their very nature, punishments both in law and war, I suppose, would not be considered “kind”. But, aren’t they meant to be forceful, again, as a just punishment as well as deterrent? How, then, are we to reconcile Christian teaching on love with such punishments?
Love endures all things. Does not this mean that it endures all evils? If this is the case, then, why do we punish them with both legal and military means?
Love bears all things. Does this not mean that love bears all evils? If love bears all evils, does this not mean that we should be willing to bear all evils, including crimes and even wars against us, passively?
On its surface, all this seems absurd, as our cultures for thousands of years have all been steeped in the traditions of both civil law and in war. Indeed, as I understand it, the Church teaches that war is in some circumstances justified and that it is a loving response in the sense that it protects those whom we care about from harm. As far as civil law, I would assume that the Church also officially supports this, though I haven’t read so much in detail on the subject. With these things in mind, then, how do we reconcile these teachings with the above Corinthians passage?