Fast Food (2015): Thirty-Ninth Helping

“Don’t you, who believe in nonviolence, see you have a job to do for the world, not only for a family circle, a college or a denomination? The universe is God’s. We don’t have to “prove” God to anyone, nor to justify the ways of God and his Son, Jesus, to man. Time does that. History does that. Our job is to be loyal. We shall find that, if we are steadfast in our faithfulness to the Lord and his ways, our own seeming ineffectiveness doesn’t matter, that God’s power matures through our weakness, that it will flow through us, if we are but loyal and let it. The effort that is required of us, and it is a real one, is the effort, not to produce, but by prayer and love to keep our connection with the Source of Power in all our tasks and trust him to do the producing.”

 -Muriel Lester

“Gospel nonviolence is based on radically different perceptions and principles which brings it into a head-on collision with the mode of popular self-understanding presented in mass media. Nonviolence is represented in the American media and the American mind as an unhealthy kind of idealism, somewhat sinister. This myth is systematically kept in existence by the media because, as we said, Gospel nonviolence calls into question the popular self-understanding of the society in which we live… 

 

Even though in fact the number of people who dedicate their lives to nonviolence is infinitesimally small it is regarded as a serious potential threat in so far as it bears witness to a radically different way of looking at God, life and oneself. We know that from the first this has been the mode of action of God’s Word and of the Gospel in the world: it calls into question the routine self-understanding of men and women and of society. It fractures idols. It unmasked dead works. It opens the mind and heart to a new self image, a new way of being, becoming and doing.

 

If instead of fabricating for ourselves a mythical and inadequate self-understanding made up of the postures and antics of media, we return to a deeper awareness of our professed faith in Jesus and his Gospel, we may find that nonviolence is not only very relevant but also the only really effective resistance to injustice and evil. This is not a matter of blind arbitrary faith and wishful thinking. The witness of the early Church, the record of the Apostles and martyrs, remains to testify to the inherent and mysterious dynamism of nonviolence in the world of history and time.”

-Thomas Merton

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