Peacemakers: Weekly Summary

Peacemakers

Summary: Sunday, September 15—Friday, September 20, 2019

Much of Christianity seems to have forgotten Jesus’ teachings on nonviolence. We’ve relegated visions of a peaceful kingdom to a far distant heaven, hardly believing Jesus could have meant we should turn the other cheek here and now. (Sunday)

Nonviolence is not ineffective, passive, weak, utopian, naïve, unpatriotic, marginal, simplistic, or impractical, but it recognizes evil in the world and responds to it with good. —Ken Butigan (Monday)

Gandhi spoke of making himself zero but seemed to have become instead a kind of cosmic conduit, a channel for some tremendous universal power, an “instrument of peace.” —Eknath Easwaran (Tuesday)

It is urgent to understand Gandhi’s message that nonviolence is a way of thinking, a way of life, not a tactic, but a way of putting love to work in resolving problems, healing relationships, and generally raising the quality of our lives. —Eknath Easwaran (Wednesday)

I saw that the Sermon on the Mount was the whole of Christianity for those who wanted to live a Christian life. It is that Sermon which has endeared Jesus to me. —Mahatma Gandhi (Thursday)

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. — Shared by Lilla Watson (Friday)

 

Practice: Vow of Nonviolence

Years ago, the Center for Action and Contemplation staff, volunteers, and friends were invited to say this vow together. Today I renew my commitment to nonviolence and invite you to make this vow your own as well.

Recognizing the violence in my own heart, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God. . . . You have learned how it was said, “You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy”; but I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven (Matthew 5:9, 43-45).

Before God the Creator and the Sanctifying Spirit, I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus

  • by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life;
  • by accepting suffering rather than inflicting it;
  • by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence;
  • by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart;
  • by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live;
  • by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.

God, I trust in Your sustaining love and believe that just as You gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so You will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it. [1]

Reference:
[1] Eileen Egan and John Dear, “The Vow of Nonviolence,” Pax Christi USA, paxchristiusa.org/resources/vow-of-nonviolence/.

For Further Study:
Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions, September 14-22, 2019, paceebene.org/action-week

John Dear, The Beatitudes of Peace: Meditations on the Beatitudes, Peacemaking and the Spiritual Life (Twenty-Third Publications: 2016)

Eknath Easwaran, Gandhi the Man: How One Man Changed Himself to Change the World (Nilgiri Press: 1972, 2011)

Mahatma Gandhi, Discourses on the Gita, trans. Valji Govindji Desai (Navajivan Publishing House: 2006, ©1960)

Gandhi on Christianity, ed. Robert Ellsberg (Orbis Books: 1991)

Barbara A. Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church, 2nd edition (Fortress Press: 2017)

Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, eds. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018)

Image credit: The Peacemaker (detail), Ernest L. Blumenschein, 1913, courtesy of the Anschutz Collection.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. —Matthew 5:9
FacebookTwitterEmailPrint