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Non-Violence: A Response to the World

November 5, 2020

As I watch the unfolding of a contentious election and wonder about the state of this nation, my heart aches. In all the years (1985-2011) that I spent in uniform, I never imagined that the enemy of the Constitution would be within our national borders. I always believed that the enemy was outside of this nation.

However, as I consider our recent and not so recent past, I realize that this fight has been going on for generations. It began when politicians cared more about their gold-plated retirement and medical care than the people whom they were elected to serve. It has been shown in the callous disregard for life as these lyrics from Dropkick Murphy’s “Worker’s Song” state:

And when the sky darkens and the prospect is war
Who’s given a gun and then pushed to the fore
And expected to die for the land of our birth
Though we’ve never owned one lousy handful of earth?

We are at a crossroads as a nation. The grand experiment of democracy is under attack. I have been a part of the system who uses the lives of those who feel like they have no other chance to change their lives other than becoming a part of the war-making machine.

In times like this, I turn to my brother, a prophet and friend, Thomas Merton for counsel and advice. Speak to me Fr Louis I pray… May Spirit use your voice to show me the way.

Fr. John Dear has made multiple references to these words of Merton. I have been reading his book, Thomas Merton: Peacemaker and they have been challenging me. May they challenge you as well, dear reader as we seek to follow the Prince of Peace.

The God of peace is never glorified by human violence. – Thomas Merton Reader, p. 125

Fr. Dear offered the flip-side to Merton’s quote when he said: The God of peace is always glorified by human non-violence. (p. xi)

Dear reader, may we glorify God by following the Prince of Peace as we stand with those who are oppressed and crushed by the privileged elite.

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