by Fr. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Next week, my new book, The Nonviolent Life, will be published by Pace e Bene Press. In it, I propose that the life of nonviolence involves three dimensions: practicing nonviolence toward yourself; practicing nonviolence toward all others, all creatures and all creation; and practicing nonviolence by joining the growing global grass-roots movement of nonviolence. The challenge is to engage in all three dimensions simultaneously.
Everyone practices one or maybe two of these dimensions, but it’s rare to find someone who consciously integrates all three aspects of nonviolence. That’s the challenge of what Gandhi called “the nonviolence of the strong.” That’s what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton and the peacemaking saints of history did and what we are called to do, as well.
This week, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, I thought I’d share the book’s opening prayer. It asks for the grace to integrate every aspect of nonviolence in our lives so we can fulfill our vocations to be the beloved sons and daughters of the God of peace, peacemakers sent into the world of violence and war.…