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, May 12, 2007

Mother's Peace Day



Mother’s Day Proclamation

1872, By Julia Ward Howe

"Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.

It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace."

Instead, this is the honor we show to our mothers:

"A government delegation sent to investigate the bombings in Zerkoh reported that three villages were hit by the U.S. strikes, destroying 100 houses and leaving 1,600 people homeless. Several women, children and infants were among those killed, and a week after the bombings, villagers were reportedly still pulling bodies from the rubble.

“So far, the people have buried 45 bodies, and they are still taking out more,” Ghalum Nabi Hakak, of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, told the Washington Post. “Yesterday, they buried 12 children. The exact number of dead is not clear, but the people are very angry.” - Socialist Worker, May 11, 2007.

Thus the heroic deeds that the media tries to portray as the honor of our fighting men and women. I'd like to use this scene to cut to the core of the distinction between personal and social morality. The Medillin Documents lay out the Catholic position: "In the search for salvation we must avoid the dualism which seperates termporal tasks from the work of sanctification. Although we are encompassed with imperfections, we are men of hope. We have faith that our love for Christ and our brethern will not only be the great force liberating us from injustice and oppression, but also the inspiration for social justice, understood as a whole of life and as an impulse toward the integral growth of our countries."


The scenario described above is in every way "contrary to the plan of the Creator and to the honor that is due Him." Puebla, #28. Our commitment as Christians is to the debased and marginalized, which includes those whose society we have destroyed.

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