“We have assumed the name of peacemakers, but we have been unwilling to pay any significant price for peace. We want peace with half a heart and half a life and half a will. The war continues because the waging of war is total but the waging of peace is partial.”
– Daniel Berrigan, SJ, in Pace e Bene Daily Inspiration (4-27-15)
April 30 marked the 40th anniversary of the evacuation of the American embassy in South Vietnam. May 4 marks the 45th anniversary of the killing of four students at Kent State University during war protests, and May 15 the two students killed at Jackson State University. I worked at Kent State for many years and May 4 is never forgotten and has always been a time of remembrance and dialog about war and peace and justice issues. It is a specific time on campus for challenging the current young minds to discuss the price of waging war or waging peace and justice issues today.
This quote by peace activist Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ, captured the fact that waging peace is extremely difficult and takes resolve, action and paying the price for peace. His words remain pertinent today when Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace reflect on our intention to preach peace, to build peace, to be peace. One of our Chapter Commitments reads: “Create environments of peace by promoting non-violence, unity in diversity, and reconciliation among ourselves, in the Church and throughout the world.”
The war and peace issues in the 60s/70s were difficult to analyze and more difficult to decide what to do. The international conflicts today are equally difficult and increasingly more dangerous. It is so easy to become overwhelmed and indifferent to the violence that is happening in at least 17 countries today including the United States. It is also easy to become overwhelmed by the interpersonal conflicts in our daily lives that detract from our preaching peace and building peach and being peace.
But these anniversary dates and other justice anniversary dates should make us stop to grapple with the depth and breadth of prayer, study and community-building required to be Dominicans of Peace, Sisters and Associates in Mission. We have assumed the name of peacemakers and we must ask if we are willing to pay any significant price?
– Blog by Associate Connie Dubick, OPA