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.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
One day your souls will be required of you
"At some thoughts one stands perplexed, above all at the sight of human sin, and wonders whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide 'I will combat it by humble love.' If you resolve on that once for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force: it is the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it." - Starets [Elder] Zosima from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
"I could not [again] deploy to a foreign land with a weapon in my hand, representing my government. I am not willing to kill, or be killed for my government. When I enlisted in the Army, I thought I would be able to, but after Iraq, my beliefs became such that I could no longer participate." - Army Spc. Mark Wilkerson after seven months in a military brig.
'"You don't want to shoot kids, I mean, no one does," said Sergeant Campbell, as he began to describe an incident in the summer of 2005 recounted to him by several men in his unit. "But you have this: I remember my unit was coming along this elevated overpass. And this kid is in the trash pile below, pulls out an AK-47 and just decides he's going to start shooting. And you gotta understand...when you have spent nine months in a war zone, where no one--every time you've been shot at, you've never seen the person shooting at you, and you could never shoot back. Here's some guy, some 14-year-old kid with an AK-47, decides he's going to start shooting at this convoy. It was the most obscene thing you've ever seen. Every person got out and opened fire on this kid. Using the biggest weapons we could find, we ripped him to shreds." Sergeant Campbell was not present at the incident, which took place in Khadamiya, but he saw photographs and heard descriptions from several eyewitnesses in his unit."'
'"Everyone was so happy, like this release that they finally killed an insurgent," he said. "Then when they got there, they realized it was just a little kid. And I know that really fucked up a lot of people in the head.... They'd show all the pictures and some people were really happy, like, Oh, look what we did. And other people were like, I don't want to see that ever again."' - The Nation
We celebrate our dominance until we understand what it destroys. It always destroys at least one child - the one that lives within our heart. In the case of Iraq, dozens of children are slain every week to maintain our domination system, the one whose emptiness was shown by one who died on a cross. But blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. We, on the other hand, will receive the reward of our lifestyle.
Ultimately, the urge and the power to carry out social liberation comes from God, as is clear from the signs of the kingdom which Jesus pointed out to John. They were the signs of an end to the domination system under which creation continues to groan. Social revolution is an essential element of the much greater and more intimate revolution which Jesus Christ is working out within our souls.
"I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice." - Ezekiel 34:16
Then let the trees of the forest sing!
before the coming of the Lord,
who comes to judge the nations,
to set the earth aright,
restoring the world to order.
- Psalm 96