by Fr. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Last week marked a typical turn in our world of violence — dozens killed in explosions in Iraq, U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, the ongoing U.S.-backed occupation of Palestine, the force-feeding of U.S. prisoners at Guantanamo, our president’s daily perusal of his assassination list, millions of children starving to death around the world, ongoing U.S. preparations for nuclear war, the continued exploitation of the earth and its creatures, inner-city shootings, 14 dead from a fiery factory explosion in Texas — and the Boston Marathon bombings.
I was in Ontario, Canada, last week to speak about nonviolence and was unable to follow the news from Boston. But I was stopped short by the heartbreaking photo of 8-year-old bombing victim Martin Richard from Dorchester, Mass., who was killed while standing with his family at the finish line April 15.
In the photo, Martin smiles at the camera, holding a handmade poster with two red hearts and a peace sign. It reads: “No more hurting people. Peace.” He made the poster at school in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
“No more hurting people.” For me, that’s the voice of God speaking to us all. It’s the cry of the world’s children. It’s the message of Jesus and Buddha passed on to us down through the ages.…