The Fall 2013 edition of the Pax Christi USA membership newsletter, The Peace Current, is now online and available as a downloadable PDF. Click here to see the newsletter. Below is Sr. Patty’s “Letter from the Executive Director” from the newsletter.
Dear Companions on the Journey,
More lives are destroyed by violence than by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires combined. Our American culture is so saturated in violent language and attitudes, that it is no wonder it spills over into violent behaviors. Language, a major tool of communication, is fraught with military and violent language (killer smile, pick your battles, bite the bullet, shoot from the hip, armed with the facts, moving target, loose cannon, etc.) that these phrases, used in everyday speech, are now the norm. Just listen to the language of sports when one team wins over another (crushed, annihilated, smothered, smashed, slaughtered, etc.) to get a sense of the pervasive violence in our everyday speech patterns.
The violent attitudes of intolerance, revenge, the silent treatment, harassment, bigotry, discrimination, and anger very quickly escalate into violent behaviors of bullying, road rage, out-of-control screaming, fighting, high risk behaviors, and even killing itself as demonstrated in movies, TV shows, songs, video games, in families, neighborhoods and in headline news of local newspapers.
In the midst of all of this chaos Pax Christi USA proclaims a ‘spirituality of nonviolence and peacemaking.’ The relevancy of our commitment is clearly counter-cultural and so needed in today’s society.
We believe in a Jesus who unambiguously said “peace is my gift to you.” The challenge of that gift stands before us today and is the theme of this Peace Current. We cannot speak words of peace and live lives of nonviolence and reconciliation if the only language we know and understand is the language of violence. Let us examine what is close to home, how we speak to one another and consequently how we relate to both the friend and the stranger alike … perhaps it is time to do some homework.