Dear friends, Peace be with you!
This month, my new book, “The Beatitudes of Peace,” is published, and I’m very excited about it!
Two months ago, Jimmy Carter sent me an endorsement for the book, which was very generous of him: “The Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount are Jesus’ blueprint for peace. I urge everyone to study John Dear’s beautiful reflections and join his campaign of peace and nonviolence.”
Surely Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount are the most important teachings on peace, love and nonviolence in history, and worth our best attention. I hope you will order my book, study it, get copies for your friends and relatives, and help me promote it. Thanks so much!
This month, I’ll be in Erie, Pennsylvania filming a webinar for my friends at the Benedictines of Peace about “Thomas Merton’s Lessons of Peace and Nonviolence.” Then I’ll be in Toronto speaking at the Henri Nouwen conference, marking the twentieth anniversary of his death. Then, I’ll be speaking in Greensboro, North Carolina at the national Church of the Brethren gathering.
Everywhere I go, I speak about the nonviolence of Jesus and what he would want from us today. All we hear during this nasty election season are the voices of war, greed, hatred, Islamaphobia, racism and sexism. I wish instead we could hear the wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount. That would be worth discussing and debating.
Why don’t we? Do we believe the teachings of Jesus? Are these commandments worth obeying? Here’s what he says: “Offer no violent resistance to one who does evil. Love your enemies. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice. Blessed are the peacemakers. Seek first God’s kingdom and God’s justice and everything else will be provided for you. Try to enter through the narrow gate to life.”
I think these teachings are the only ones worth pursuing, that Jesus is the most important person worth listening to. Violence has utterly failed. We should all try his way of nonviolence and together, work for a new culture of peace and nonviolence.
That’s what we’re doing at www.campaignnonviolence.org. We’re getting ready for hundreds of nonviolent demonstrations during the third week of September. Please join us. Study the website and join an event or better, organize one!
My hope and prayer is that we will all become Beatitude people, Sermon on the Mount people, people who live according to Gospel nonviolence. May the God of peace bless you abundantly on your journey to Peace!
Very truly yours,