I am currently at Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC. The focus is on radical peace making. I am reminded of the extreme risk that comes to people making radically peaceful stands.
Fr. John Dear suggested the following process to arrive at a nonviolent life:
- Nonviolent interior life … Leads to …
- Nonviolent interpersonal life … Leads to …
- Nonviolent world.
It reminds me of “love your neighbor as yourself!” That requires self love first. Interior nonviolence leads to a cosmos full of nonviolence!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. articulated six principles of nonviolence:
1. nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards
2. nonviolence does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding
3. the attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil
4. nonviolent resistance is a willingness to accept suffering without retaliation, to accept blows from the opponent without striking back
5.it avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spiri
6. it is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice
Some of these are hard principles. But all the people I have heard of that do nonviolence have incredible wells of interior spaciousness. The ultimate source of nonviolence.
I hope you find something to prompt a thought that leads towards greater peace!
Terri Stewart ~ a member of our Core Team, comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a recent graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction with honors and is a rare United Methodist student in the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual.