Nonviolence - so what does it mean?

Over the past few days, I've been sharing our Chapter Act on Nonviolence - (click here for the beginning of this series). Why? Because it's something I've really been reflecting a lot on since the summer and trying to integrate into my own life.

I firmly believe that peace is possible, peace will come. That belief is hard to have when violence is so prevalent in our world, or when I sit helplessly and observe communities explode into armed conflict and hundreds or thousands of civilians die in their own homes. But yet, Jesus promises us his peace.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you." (John 14:27).

What did he mean? People have been trying to figure that out for 2,000 years. As a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace, I have been trying to figure out what that means for me. What does it mean to be in a community of people seeing peace through justice. What does it mean to wear my peace cross each day, as a public symbol of my commitment to the Peace Jesus promises?

It seems to me that if it means anything, it means a commitment to look at the ways in my own life that I am not of peace. Where is the violence in my own being? How can I grow in nonviolence and be a seed of peace?

That's where I'm at, recognized my own violence as I pray each day for the Prince of Peace to be with me on my/our journey to be people of peace. For the most part, I've just noticed how not non-violent I am, but the desire is there, and that must count for something. The picture says "envision peace." For me, these days, I guess it's more about if/how I/we can "embody peace." It is very cool to be on this journey with my CSJP community ... for the next 6 years. Because we're not going to figure it out over night!

PS - If you - like me - find yourself at a loss about what you can do as a global (or American) citizen about the current violent crisis in Gaza, visit the Pax Christi USA website for resources.

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