In his address for 2017's World Day of Peace, Pope Francis calls nonviolence "a style of politics for peace." He describes nonviolence beginning in the heart of the individual and spreading from there through the family and community to the world. Yet the Holy Father emphasizes that the culture of nonviolence and love is the furthest thing from mamby pamby passivity and retreat from the world. On the contrary, he calls for active engagement on all levels. Only so can we resist evil and achieve the project of "peace founded upon truth, justice, freedom and love”."
As he points out, "An ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence between individuals and among peoples cannot be based on the logic of fear, violence and closed-mindedness, but on responsibility, respect and sincere dialogue." These fundamentals, that is responsibility, respect and sincere dialog, don't just happen; they must be worked at, developed and actively nurtured. Thus, nonviolence as a style of politics, as a lifestyle, is vigorous, active, a work in progress.
Let us commit ourselves this year to nurture and spread nonviolence in our own hearts and throughout those parts of the wider world that we touch. Through love and nonviolence, as the Holy Father reminds us, all things are possible.
“All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers”. In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. “Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace”.Love, Rise, Resist!