Monday, October 8, 2012


The White Cross, by Marc Chagall -- a Jewish vision of the need for forgiveness, and Jesus' response
Father, forgive them they know not what they do—versus, father, destroy them I’m excruciatingly fed up with what they do.  Forgiveness even unto executioners—implementers of what most all then judged, a shameful death on the cross.
There is no violence in God revealed by Jesus Christ.  Resurrected Life—in His death He destroyed death.  For the Gospel to be alive and evangelized, it must be the true consistent Gospel, respecting and celebrating all life.  Justified violence is not of Jesus, but from the father of lies.  Christian churches must embrace full Gospel nonviolent mercy—become consistently against both abortion and war.  Both stones--of lust and murder in all societies; these manacles of lust and murder dropped from our hands—replaced by mercy for the adulterous man, the unwed mother, innocent child, and for the violence-embedded warrior. 

At the moment Christ’s work on earth is most threatened by worldly powers, the crisis point, as He’s arrested in the Garden, “Put away the sword.”  Enough of this talk of fighting for God’s Kingdom.  Can God my Father not defend creation, send legions of angels?
"Masters of War"-- painting by John Tartaglione
In the discourse on swords*, we find a version of the dichotomy: works or faith.  Faith alone saves, yet good works are necessary, but never the works of killing for supposed good ends.  The ends never justify the means.  Moreover, the means are the ends, in embryo.  Faith and good works are intimately entwined.  “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition,” {united in a popular WWII song} are Gospel opposites.  “Put away the sword.”

y their works you will know them.  There is never good fruit from a bad tree, no matter how cleverly the serpent suggests it.  And the tree of the business of war is a tree dripping with blood.  Weapons and war are the worst of works possible.  A society dedicated to them is also making a business of abortion.  True faith in Jesus destroys all recourse to these justified violences.  May we remember this in this season of burning stones politics.  I have this poem from Javier Sicilia and his just completed Caravan for Peace.

“I will try, like them
To be my own silence:
And this is difficult. The whole
World is secretly on fire. The stones
Burn, even the stones
They burn me. How can a man be still or
Listen to all things burning? How can he dare
To sit with them
When all their silence
Is on fire?”

~ Thomas Merton ~

(from “InSilence” -- The Strange Islands: Poems by Thomas Merton)


"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.  Deut 30:19

Click on red and blue texts above for links to sources.

Illumination and botanicals by Kathy Brahney






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