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.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Stand Somewhere




"War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." - John F. Kennedy

The corporate media and politicians of every stripe constantly shine the image of the warrior until it glows and blinds because such profound perversion of the human spirit validates the system that makes war on the humble who will one day inherit the earth. The re-militarization of Europe, fueled by the "discovery" of new enemies, has begun in the Czech Republic, where hunger strikers have begun work of suffering love: "'We have tried almost everything, but our government has failed to listen to us. They continue to ignore the fact that more than two thirds of Czechs oppose this plan,' said Jan Tamas in reference to the March 2008 polls showing 67% of Czech disagree with the planned US deployment of a missile defense radar site in the Czech Republic. 'We are calling on our friends from abroad to support us in our struggle, as this is not only a local issue.'" Please help end the new Cold War by going to No Star Wars and signing the petition.

Like the 68% of American who oppose the illegal occupation of Iraq, European democratic resistance to war revival has been effectively neutralized. Still, those willing to starve for justice continue to be raised by the Holy Spirit. In Czechoslovakia, in Palestine, in Iraq: "We needn’t have worried. Disagreeing with the structure of one exercise, a woman challenges me early on. After some wrangling to have my way, I concede, saying, "Salaam, Ashti" (peace), and she replies, "No, democracia!" We smile together at her wisdom."

The wisdom of hunger strikes Czechoslovakia. A woman in Iraq equalizes the wisdom of democracia, which is peace. Shalom finds a body when listening to the voices of the ignored, a voice that grows the louder the more the corporate media endeavors to drown it in a sea of trivia. The voice of the demos shouts peace.

In Iraq, a woman rips her heart apart: "We end the day with the Heart Exercise: Those who wish to do so tell their stories about how violence has affected them. Each holds a pink paper heart while sharing, and at the end, tears a piece from the heart, symbolizing the brokenness that violence leaves behind.

"We do not interrupt with translation. Instead, we listen with our hearts. Voices clutch with emotion; eyes brim with tears; sounds of anger and sorrow fill the room; fists are clenched, heads shaken in disbelief. The first two who share, a Muslim and a Christian from the Mosul area, leave the heart whole. Next comes a Muslim woman, statuesque and proud, the same woman who reminded me of democracy.

Her voice trembles. She regains her composure and continues. Her voice rises, the emotion intensifies. Virtually everyone in the room is in tears. She crumples the intact paper heart in her hands and rips it in two.

I do not understand the words of her story, but I do know that violence has not just broken her heart; it has torn her asunder." - Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Indeed Pentecost has come and we have been torn asunder. Can you discover the peace that lives in the voice of silence? Then rip the paper heart in two and come join in the living peace where pure hearts grow.

Peace grows between the cracks between official media positions, "The marchers are an eclectic group. Some are die-hard protesters. Some are soldiers’ relatives who spontaneously joined after seeing the small parade pass through their towns.

Many of them are veterans, including an 89-year-old man who fought in World War II. He rides in a car along the marchers’ route, and meets the group each evening when they stop to rest.

At each town, they try to engage the community in conversation." - "An Antiwar March Through Towns Unused to One"

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