Monday, October 29, 2007

War is not the Way to Peace

Back in March, on the anniversary of the Iraq War, ten local peace advocates were arrested for blocking an entrance of our local federal courthouse. They were fined, but 6 of the 10 did not pay it. As a result, last Thursday the six were sentenced to five days in our local county jail. One of our sisters is a member of that group. The stories, experiences, and philosophies they shared at their hearing were impressive, heart-wrenching, and inspiring.

Our community has been known for its efforts in peacemaking since the end of the 60s and the Vietnam War. Our Benedictines for Peace group has over 140 members. Dozens of sisters turn out for any local peace event in town, many more come to events we sponsor at the Mount. One of the mottoes of Benedictine life is Pax, peace. This is one way we live it.

Here is a beautiful poem to encourage us all in our life commitments:

The Low Road
by Marge Piercy

Alone you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.

But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.

A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.

Update: The six were released Monday, October 29.