Justice Bulletin Board
Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.
Several things are overlapping at this moment. The national movement, Campaign Nonviolence, begins its annual “week” this coming September 21 on the International Day of Peace and concludes October 2 on the International Day of Nonviolence. Campaign Nonviolence seeks to mainstream nonviolence as a way of life and opposes war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction. Speaking of the latter, this is also the annual Season of Creation whose theme this year is “Let Justice and Peace Flow.” “God wants justice to reign,” states Pope Francis in his Day of Creation message 9/1/2023, which “is essential for our proper life as children created in the image of God, no less than water is essential for our physical survival.”
As I am writing this column, I am watching the catastrophic results of the firestorm in Lahaina, Maui. The loss of life in an out-of-control fire is devastating. One person interviewed said that the fire hydrants literally had no water.
Pope Francis states in his encyclical, Laudato Si’, that “everything is connected.” If, in fact, everything is connected then, in order to have peace with each other and the earth, several nonviolent actions must be taken so that we can set in motion a “transformation of our hearts, our lifestyles and the public policies that govern our societies” (Pope Francis 9/1/2023).
Pope Francis explains: “Peace means Forgiveness. . .[and] makes it possible to heal old wounds. Peace means Welcome, openness to dialogue, the overcoming of closed-mindedness. . . Peace means Cooperation, a concrete and active exchange with another. . .Peace denotes Education, a call to learn every day. . .to acquire a culture of encounter, purifying the conscience of every temptation to violence. . .” (9/20/16). Forgiveness. Welcome. Cooperation. Education. If we truly want peace on earth and with creation, we must involve ourselves in all four. Yet, as Sirach states “the sinner hugs them tight.” We hold on to our grudges, we close the door on encounters with others and the earth, we seek to dominate not cooperate, and we fail to educate ourselves. Will you let yourself be transformed?
For CNV events: www.paceebene.org
For Season of Creation: www.seasonofcreation.org
Barbara Molinari Quinby, MPS, Director
Office of Human Life, Dignity, and Justice Ministries
Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Raleigh, NC