Peace, Justice and Sustainability... Background & Articles
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We all know that the daily practice of meditation, if undertaken with faith and love, increases our awareness of Jesus' indwelling presence and makes it possible for us to experience that peace that He promised to leave with us. Many entries on this website are dedicated to strengthening our personal meditation practice and deepening that inner peace that is a wonderful fruit of meditation.
Jack Murta grew up on a family farm, near a village of 50 people in Manitoba, Canada, attended a small rural school, received a University Diploma in Agriculture, spent 16 years in the business community, and then served 18 years as an elected member of the Canadian Parliament, including two Cabinet Minister Posts.
ETTY HILLESUM, MEDITATOR AND PEACE ACTIVIST (1914-1943)
by Paul Harris
“God is not accountable to us, but we are to Him. I know what may lie in wait for us....and yet I find life beautiful and meaningful.”
Etty Hillesum who wrote these words in Amsterdam in 1942 was a young 28 year old Jewish woman and gifted writer who decided to write a diary during the German occupation of Holland. The diary portrays an inner transformation of an independent woman preoccupied with worldly pleasures and sensuality, into a person of great spiritual depth and wisdom. The diaries chronicle Etty’s inner growth and have become an authentic classic of twentieth century spirituality.
From Pax Christi USA’s Global Restoration Committee
“I don’t want to flee, nor do I want to abandon the battle of these farmers who live without any protection in the forest. They have the sacrosanct right to aspire to a better life on land where they can live and work with dignity while respecting the environment.” ~Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN
Reprinted from the January. 15, 2013 National Catholic Reporter: "On The Road to Peace"
by John Dear
Recently, I came across a new collection of prayers by Martin Luther King Jr., Thou, Dear God: Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits (edited by Lewis V. Baldwin, Beacon Press, 2012). For his birthday today, I thought I'd offer here a sample of those prayers to encourage us on our journey so we might be, like Dr. King, people of prayer, peace, justice and nonviolence.
Ottawa. On May 25, along with 44 other recipients, Laurence Freeman received one of the highest honours in Canada from the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at Government House. The Order of Canada recognizes recipients for a lifetime of outstanding achievement dedicated to the community and service to the nation. Membership is accorded to those who exemplify the Order’s Latin motto: desiderantes meliorem patriam, meaning, “they desire a better country”, a phrase taken from Paul’s letter to the Hebrews 11:16.
I began my meditation journey in my late teens, but gave it up almost completely as an adult with a demanding job and a family of four young sons. By the grace of God, about 20 years ago I found meditation again, and, along with my wife, I am now part of the Houston WCCM community.
My meditation practice has helped me to see that of the many things the Gospels teach, the most important are social justice and prayer. In his teaching Jesus puts great emphasis on feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger (read “immigrant”), clothing the naked, and visiting those in prison. He spent many all-night vigils in prayer and meditation, and He encourages us to meditate: “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6
There are few pious devotions that also address social justice. However, for at least two decades Pax Christi groups have been walking the Stations of the Cross while reflecting on issues of social justice. Pax Christi is the international Catholic peace organization. As such it strives to create a world that reflects the peace of Christ. The members witness to Christian nonviolence, rejection of war and every form of violence and dominance. The small group of Pax Christi members in Houston has been sponsoring the Walk for Justice in downtown Houston for at least two decades.
“Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.
John F. Kennedy
“Of course people don’t want war. Why should a poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best thing he can get out of it is