Sunday, April 5, 2009

Justice & Peace

I totally missed this and Saturday was the last day but I feel compelled to share it nonetheless.
Though I come from a Roman Catholic upbringing and know about the Good Shepherd Sisters, I do not frequent sites of this nature unless God directs my path to that site and there usually is a good reason why I encounter such gems. This and these faithful servants of God are one of these anointed times that God speaks and leads me to follow this thread.If you knew me well then by looking at the photo graphic above it would tell you in part, why God led me here.
(plus this was in French, but they had English & Spanish options)

Prepared monthly by the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office.

This month’s prayer has been prepared by Katherine Ward

Beginning on January 30th and culminating on April 4th, the world will be commemorating the 12th annual  Gandhi/King/Chavez: Season for NonviolenceThe inaugural Season began in 1997 with the 50th and the 30th memorial anniversaries for Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Gandhi, Dr. King and now also recognized nonviolent organizer, Cesar Chavez courageously dedicated their lives to changing the ties that bound men, women and children into hopelessness and disbelief that equality in all facets of life is possible.

The commitment to nonviolence and peaceful resolution grows outward from a personal sense of spirituality to understanding and taking action in challenging the harm that all forms of violence has on oneself and others while refusing to accept violence as a part of life. 

“The first principle of nonviolent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating” (Cesar Chavez The movementdoesn’t just stop there. While it builds upon the shared belief of loving and respecting each person’s humanness as an active approach in rejecting violence and oppression, the nonviolence movement strives for greater sociopolitical change. 

  • Gandhi’s commitment to nonviolence led to India’s decolonization and freedom from Great Britain. 

  • The nonviolent action and civil disobedience led by Dr. King Jr. jumpstarted the transformation in the United States by ultimately bringing about civil rights legislation. 

  • Cesar Chavez organized migrant farm workers in the United States in nonviolently advocating for fair farm worker labor laws. His sustained efforts as the co-founder of the United Farm Workers led to changes to the US federal immigration law in 1986.


Dr. King Jr.:


The United Nations named 2000 the International Year for the Culture of Peace’s and 
2000-2010 the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World. 

The UN called attention to the attitudes and behaviors required to live one’s life free of violence through the promotion of peace and non-violence reconciliation. In the “Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace” (UN General Assembly Resolution 53/2430) highlighted the main principles to live free of violence while promoting peace on all levels.

The 8 principles are: 
• foster a culture of peace through education 
• promote sustainable economic and social development 
• promote respect for all human rights 
• ensure equality between men and women 
• foster democratic participation 
• advance understanding tolerance and solidarity 
• support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge 
• promote international peace and security

The rest of this article by Katherine Ward can be read here in its entirety including the above but the rest is more of what the Good Shepherd Community commits to doing. However, these excellent questions are applicable to EACH of us:

In celebrating this season of nonviolence, how are you as an individual and as part of a community calling attention to injustices and inequalities?

How do you feel motivated and driven by the love for each person in taking action towards transforming unjust systems and structures locally, nationally, regionally and internationally?
What are some ways to promote peace and extend ourselves to live nonviolently and act for greater societal change?"

GS suggests:

• Hold a vision of plenty for all the world’s hungry and be open to ways that as to how I can help alleviate some of that hunger 

• Silently acknowledge all the leaders in the world 

• Send an email to your Justice Peace Contact and share successes in your ministry of how you and Good Shepherd people overcame challenges 

• Hold a vigil for peace to end wars and conflicts in our world


Let us walk in solidarity with them and others, UNITED in prayer, prayerful ACTION & reconciliation. Nonviolence starts in our homes, modeled before our children. It is no coincidence that April is the month for "National Child Abuse Prevention" as well as "Alcohol Awareness Month"

This makes the following song come to my mind(click here for entire song):

We will work with each other, we will work side by side: And we'll guard each *man's dignity and save each *man's pride (*that includes men, women and children especially)

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love...yes they'll know we are Christians by our love. 

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand:...And together we'll spread the news that God is in our land.

FOR WE ARE ONE IN THE SPIRIT, WE ARE ONE IN THE LORD...and we pray that ALL UNITY may one day be restored...

Added verse from me:

We will LOVE one another...We will love like Our Lord: And we'll give praise & encourage those who need our support.


My prayer

Heavenly Father, May others know me as a Christian by my love. Forgive me for the many times I may have failed to be that LOVE to someone in need. Forgive me for not doing all I can for the many social injustices I see. Forgive me for not walking in the shoes of PEACE that You have asked us to put on our feet daily.Forgive me when I have not responded to circumstances or situations in a peaceful manner. Teach me, O walk in Your PEACE & JUSTICE so ALL will know that as Christians we follow Jesus Christ, His Love and Compassion should direct all our steps in unity with one another. 

Thank You for people like Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez, who fought for equality and justice for ALL. Yet You, O Lord have required each of us to do our part. Light our way and grant us Your Peace and a heart of a servant. We lift up the world's leaders and ask that You touch their hearts and open their eyes to the many injustices so that they will change the atrocities of so many and put an end to the suffering of injustices that they MUST prevent & stop in the Name of Jesus.

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