Thursday, January 11, 2018

Peace quote of the day: don't pass on violence

"Don't fight like other people fight, returning evil for evil (1 Thessalonians 5:15a). Instead, suffer patiently, refusing to pass another's violence on to someone else." -- From Ch. 4 of the Rule of Saint Benedict (Paraphrase and Introduction by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove)

This seems like a relevant principle and practice for peacemaking - to "refuse to pass another's violence on to someone else."

In how we respond and react to violence, to we contribute to the violence, add to a downward spiral, or do we break the cycle by refusing to pass on the violence?

I'm caught, as I consider this, between what seems like a beautiful ideal, and the realization that this goes against my natural tendencies and response. It seems not human, but supernatural. But then, it is - this is from the teachings of Jesus, and demonstrated by his example. And I am compelled to consider this principle (to not pass on another's violence), and to embrace it, both because of a deep conviction that I want to add to peace rather than violence in this world, and because of my commitment to following Jesus (which, for me, is the only way to live the kind of life I most desire to live).