Images came to mind of people running through clouds of dust after the water trucks with buckets in their hands hoping to catch water that might spill when the trucks went up hills.
Last Sunday, while I was celebrating Mass, the words of this psalm struck me
calling my attention: “He raises the needy from the dust, lifts the poor from the
ash heap”. (Psalm 113:8)
At that moment, the images of people in the dusty and polluted roads of Port-au-
Prince came to mind. While I recalled my own experiences there - the irritation of
my eyes and throat, the dirt leaving a pattern around my sunglasses after riding
on a motorbike through the streets - it paled in comparison to the images that
came to mind of daily life among the citizens of that city.
I recalled people walking with handkerchiefs and dust masks covering their
mouths, parents carrying their children under the burning sun to the
hospital in search for care, children walking to school barefoot, or in tattered
sandals, or with their black dress shoes in a plastic bag to keep them shiny
and clean, and of the shoe shiners located near schools and public places
ready to remove the ever present dust for a few Gourdes.
JPIC Committee, Passionists of North America just signed our support of The Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference statement: An Appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence. To reflect on the statement and consider signing for your community, as well as learning about the Conference future plans, go to their website here.
In a directly related initiative, JPIC Committee, Passionists of North America is also signing on as a supporter of A Global Day of Action and Prayer for Syria: A Shift to a JustPeace Approach. It is a powerful statement which keeps nonviolent solutions and prayer central. This initiative coincides with the World Day of Peace on September 21.Read his whole article here.
Finally, Alex Steinmiller, CP in his "The Word of Life" reflection from August 12th, 2016, says that "nonviolence is a methodology for positive social change that works, whether in our personal lives, in communities and within nations; and that the time has come for the church to apply non-violence at every level." Read Fr. Alex's full reflection here.
Continue reading for more on the Vatican Conference on Gospel Nonviolence
Vatican conference rejects just war theory, asks for encyclical on nonviolence