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Peace and Humanity – A Reflection

May 1, 2020
A Mama Elk along the trail.

Usually I focus on a particular quote or piece from Thomas Merton. However, tonight I am focusing on a quote by Fr Daniel Berrigan, SJ who was a good friend of Merton’s. In the 60’s, Merton was a sort of spiritual advisor to many in the Peacemaking, Anti-War, Anti-Nuclear movements. Fr Berrigan would spend time with Merton each year along with others who had a passion for peacemaking in the Catholic Peace Fellowship and Catholic Workers Movement.

Today as we deal with the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus around this country and world we need to hear these voices again. The rise in hatred… the rise in White Supremacy, Nativism, Hate groups, and more than I can mention is horrifying. These groups are taking advantage of this pandemic to push their horrific platforms and are finding support in the highest levels of government. While this may not be the Cold War or a Nuclear Arms race (that is increasingly coming back by the way), it is a warfare of a more insidious sort.

So how do those of us who work for a better today and tomorrow for all of God’s children respond? I have been praying and contemplating that question for some time now.

In an article about Fr Berrigan in the April 30, 2016 edition of America: The Jesuit Review the author talked about Fr Berrigan’s Peacemaking Legacy.

In the article, Fr Berrigan is quoted: Dorothy Day taught me more than all the theologians,” Berrigan told The Nation in 2008. “She awakened me to connections I had not thought of or been instructed in—the equation of human misery and poverty with warmaking. She had a basic hope that God created the world with enough for everyone, but there was not enough for everyone and warmaking. (

My prayer during these times is that our nation and world return to some sort of sanity. A sanity and reality where we follow God’s desire and put our efforts in relieving human misery and poverty and say no to the insanity of warmongering and fear-mongering. That is my hope and that is my fervent prayer.

  1. hlcgkids permalink

    The USA has the most freedom in the world today. To protect that freedom we must have the the strongest defense. If we don’t war is more likely. Strong defense deters war. But we must select strong leaders to defend our freedoms.

    • And we haven’t done a very good job of balancing good leadership, defense, and care for the people and creation… we have much to learn and I saw so much waste and poor stewardship when I was in uniform. That system needs to be turned on its ear and rebuilt…

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