Tag Archives: nonviolence

Nonviolence

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Le fils de la vigne
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Negativity. Pessimism. Put-downs. Sarcasm. Hostility. These are forms of violence that tackle me daily in the news, on the Internet, at the workplace, and sometimes from my own attitudes and behaviors.

My defense against the darkness of violence is to put my thoughts on God’s boundless love and wisdom, and to practice bringing the light of gratitude, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion to every circumstance in which I find myself.

Thank you, Lord, for being with me right now, in this moment. Help me to walk in the light of your love. Show me how to be a nonviolent presence in our troubled world.

Finally, sisters and brothers,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things. Phillipians 4:8

Teaching

Chris Cook, b.1962
Men of Galilee
Acrylic on canvas

Love, forgiveness, compassion, nonviolence, prayer, generosity, service to the poor… does my life witness teach others these commands of the Lord?

Today I will remember Jesus is with me and ask for the courage to embody his commands. I will look to others to be my teachers, too, so that I may become more skilled in the ways of the Lord.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “…[teach] them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18a, 20a

Blessed peace

The Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7 JESUS MAFA. The Sermon on the Mount, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48284 [retrieved January 29, 2017].

JESUS MAFA. The Sermon on the Mount, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved January 29, 2017].

Now is the time to make peace, forgive those who hurt us, love our enemies.

Now is the time to put nonviolence into practice, to trust love is more powerful than aggression, blame, and division.

Now is the time to bring compassion and mercy to all who are broken, and to all that is broken in our world.

[Jesus taught them,] “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:7, 9

 

Shaping a prophet

3_candlesAs my paycheck seems to leave less and less for extras, my belongings are becoming more and more shabby. I fantasize about the shame of having my baggy, well-worn wool sweater chosen as the ugliest in a competition.

Jesus reminds me that fine clothing doesn’t make a prophet. Nor do power, riches, and fame. A prophet is shaped by hearing the Word of God and practicing the Way of love, peace, nonviolence, forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, and respect. A prophet stands firmly grounded in the truth of God’s love for all of humankind.

Today I will look for opportunities to love my neighbor. I will do my best to be a prophet by  sharing God’s gifts of joy and kindness.

Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.”
Matthew 11:7-9

A spirit of knowledge

2_candlesImagine the knowledge of God’s love, compassion, and forgiveness filling and covering the whole earth. How reverently we would step. How respectfully we would treat each other. How quickly we would help anyone in need. How peaceful our homes, communities, and countries would be.

Am I willing to participate in the kingdom of God—here and now?

There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. Isaiah 11:9

Active preparation

Candle_flameListen, welcome, encourage. Show respect, courtesy, attention. Practice patience, nonjudgment, nonviolence. Give time, energy, goods. Seek wisdom, peace, the will of God. Be love.

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Matthew 24:44

Do not be afraid

Ivan Guaderrama (b.1984) Love One Another III

Ivan Guaderrama (b.1984)
Love One Another III

Do not let yourself be manipulated into forgetting the One who is in charge. Love one another. Forgive your enemies. Feed the hungry. Help the poor. Be merciful as your Father in Heaven is merciful.

Be not afraid. The vision still has its time.

[Jesus answered,] “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified.” Luke 21:9a