An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

War is Our Failure to Love You, Jesus




"A wail rises from the throat of all who love these people and shakes our hearts as it reaches for the crucified open arms of Jesus. We are here tonight as the church: Each one of us are witnesses to this war and to our own complicity in it - when were we silent and should have spoken, whose eyes would we not meet to face the truth? Now we are prostrate at this altar, begging, "Lord, help us. War is our failure to love you, and peace is your command. Peace is not the easy way out, its creation is the most confounding - the hardest - thing we can do. Help us."

"Now, war is the absence of hope. War is the declaration that only violence can conquer the hearts and minds of a people. We are here tonight to dare to say that is not true."

War is the anti-Gospel, the negation of the hope that Jesus Christ came to give us. "Hope, for Christians, can never just be a word – it must become an action. Hope for Christians must be a public commitment to follow Jesus in the non-violent struggle for justice and peace. Hope for Christians must be a public sharing of the love of Jesus. Hope for Christians must be a public witnessing to the power of love to overcome hate, to overcome cynicism, to overcome war, to overcome death itself."

What is the contradiction at the heart of all war? Dr. King expressed it as follows: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate." Instead, you multiply it. Violence encapsulates despair - it is the loss of faith in our ability to accept healing.

"In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Celeste Zappala

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