"Holy Scripture must be understood in the light of what Christ and the saints have actually practiced. Christ did not offer His other cheek, nor Paul either. Thus to interpret the injunction of the Sermon on the Mount literally is to misunderstand it. This injunction signifies rather the readiness of the soul to bear, if it be necessary, such things and worse, without bitterness against the attacker. This readiness our Lord showed, when He gave up His body to be crucified. That response of the Lord was useful, therefore, for our instruction." (In John 18, lect. 4, 2)
Joseph Pieper comments: "The readiness to meet the supreme test by dying in patient endurance so that the good may be realized does not exclude the willingness to fight and to attack. Indeed, it is from this readiness that the springs of action in the Christian receive that detachment and freedom which, in the last analysis, are denied to every sort of tense and strained activism." —The Four Cardinal Virtues (Notre Dame Press, 1966), 133.