A Message of Peace and Love

Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt
Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

A time for quiet reflection

The weeks between Christmas and New Year’s, followed by the first few sleepy days of January, have brought with them a time for quiet reflection on the past year, and a hope and anticipation for the days ahead.

When I get home, I enjoy relaxing in the silence and peace that envelops me as these winter days quickly become dark. I am comforted knowing that I can find this quiet and peaceful space and that my life is generally free of violence. How lucky I am!

Experiencing violence

And yet, I still recognize the violence that many of us do experience on a regular basis. Violence from media sources that demean and diminish women, violence of words still hanging on after a harsh election season, violence of criticism and hate from those who have different views or opinions, be those political, religious, or other.

Add to that the violence that affects our communities on a larger scale, such as those who are living day-in and day-out in violent situations, violent environments, and with violent families or workplaces. Despite our oasis of peace and quiet, it is often hard to escape the seemingly endless accounts of violence around us. 

Stand Against Violence Week

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) named January 15 – 22 Stand Against Violence Week. I find it both appropriate and comforting that this week begins on January 15, the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King is widely known for his courage, his compassion, and his ability to engage individuals to stand against violence, discrimination, and racism, and to do so peacefully.

Dr. King understood that while we may not experience widespread violence on a daily basis, like the current situation in Aleppo or in other parts of the world, we do experience and/or witness violence in our daily lives in a variety of ways. This week, and always, may we feel the courage of Dr. King as we work to build peace and follow in the footsteps of Jesus to live out Gospel nonviolence in pursuit of a more just and peace-filled world. To do so, we can begin by spreading a message of peace and love in every thought, word, and action we take.

Nonviolence is the answer
to the crucial political and moral questions of our time:
the need for man to overcome oppression and violence
without resorting to oppression and violence.
Man must evolve for all human conflict
a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech,
Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

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