PRAYER - STUDY - ACTION
Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action
September 21 to October 2

The International Day of Peace | Monday, September 21, 2020

"To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence."

~ Pope Francis, World Day of Peace 2017 message,

 
 
Today, September 21st, is the International Day of Peace and it marks the beginning of the first annual Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action called for by Pax Christi International and taking place through October 2 (the International Day of Nonviolence and Gandhi's birthday). 

Pax Christi USA is observing these days in a variety of ways, including with a special webinar introducing our membership, partners and friends to the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (CNI) today at 3pm EDT (still open to registration) with Judy Coode, project coordinator of the CNI. 

In solidarity with our 120+ sister organizations in the Pax Christi International network from around the world, Pax Christi USA invites our regions, local groups, members and partners to creatively find ways to pray, study, act and celebrate the power of nonviolence during these special days. 

You can find additional resources, links to webinars and more on the Pax Christi USA website to keep you updated on these days of action as well as on our national participation in the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. Below, you'll find a PSA (Pray-Study-Act) e-bulletin for today, the International Day of Peace, as a way to start our observance of the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action. Thanks for all that you do to cultivate nonviolence and peace in our world today!

In peace,


Johnny Zokovitch
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA 
PRAYER

PRAYER FOR A NONVIOLENT LIFE
by Rev. John Dear, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

God of peace, thank you for being gentle, loving, compassionate, and nonviolent! You are so nonviolent that you do not force yourself upon us, but gently call us to your wisdom and way of nonviolence. You give us the freedom to do as we will. Help us to do your will of peace, to choose your way of nonviolence. Help us to live a nonviolent life, to become your holy people of nonviolence, to welcome your reign of peace and nonviolence here on earth.

Help me to be nonviolent to myself. Give me the grace to let go of violence, to love and accept myself, to treat myself nonviolently, to cultivate inner peace, and to dwell in your peace. Send your Holy Spirit of peace upon me that I might live in relationship with you as your beloved child, that I might know your love and healing peace, love you in return and honor you by taking care of myself and being nonviolent to myself for the rest of my life.

Help me to practice loving nonviolence toward everyone I know and meet, that I might love my neighbor as myself, and never hurt anyone ever again. Help me to be nonviolent to all creatures and all creation, that I may spread your peace far and wide to all sentient beings, to your beautiful creation. Give me a heart as wide as the world that I might love everyone around the world, even those targeted as "enemies" by my nation. Open my heart to love every human being as my sister and brother, that I might practice your universal nonviolent love from now on.

Help me to serve your reign of peace by joining the global grassroots movement of nonviolence. Make me an instrument of your peace, that I might do my part to help abolish war, poverty, hunger, racism, sexism, executions, nuclear weapons, systemic injustice and environmental destruction, and welcome your nonviolent reign of peace with justice here on earth. Bless this grassroots movement of nonviolence with your wisdom, your determination, and your persistent action that we might see "justice roll down like waters" and welcome new breakthroughs of justice and peace every day.

As I follow the nonviolent Jesus on the path of peace and love, help me to claim my true identity as your beloved son/daughter, that I might always live in your peace and love, and serve your reign of peace and love, now and forever.

Thank you. Amen.
STUDY

The following statement, "An Appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence," crafted in a consensus process, was released at the end of the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference in Rome, April 2016. 

As Christians committed to a more just and peaceful world we are called to take a clear stand for creative and active nonviolence and against all forms of violence. With this conviction, and in recognition of the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, people from many countries gathered at the Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International on April 11-13, 2016 in Rome.

Our assembly, people of God from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania included lay people, theologians, members of religious congregations, priests, and bishops. Many of us live in communities experiencing violence and oppression. All of us are practitioners of justice and peace. We are grateful for the message to our conference from Pope Francis: "your thoughts on revitalizing the tools of nonviolence, and of active nonviolence in particular, will be a needed and positive contribution".

Looking at our world today

We live in a time of tremendous suffering, widespread trauma and fear linked to militarization, economic injustice, climate change, and a myriad of other specific forms of violence. In this context of normalized and systemic violence, those of us who stand in the Christian tradition are called to recognize the centrality of active nonviolence to the vision and message of Jesus; to the life and practice of the Catholic Church; and to our long-term vocation of healing and reconciling both people and the planet.

We rejoice in the rich concrete experiences of people engaged in work for peace around the world, many of whose stories we heard during this conference. Participants shared their experiences of courageous negotiations with armed actors in Uganda and Colombia; working to protect the Article 9, the peace clause in the Japanese Constitution; accompaniment in Palestine; and countrywide peace education in the Philippines. They illuminate the creativity and power of nonviolent practices in many different situations of potential or actual violent conflict. Recent academic research, in fact, has confirmed that nonviolent resistance strategies are twice as effective as violent ones.

The time has come for our Church to be a living witness and to invest far greater human and financial resources in promoting a spirituality and practice of active nonviolence and in forming and training our Catholic communities in effective nonviolent practices. In all of this, Jesus is our inspiration and model...

ACTION


Our world is in crisis. For the past several months, Pax Christi USA has been curating resources to respond with prayer, study and action in these difficult moments. Click on the links below and make a commitment to put your nonviolence into action to heal the injustice, oppression, division and fear taking place in our communities today.

Please support Pax Christi USA by giving
to our Summer 2020 Appeal by clicking here.
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For the latest resources to put your faith into action for peace and justice, visit the Pax Christi USA website