On The Road to Peace

Though the world continues to explode with violence of every kind, we continue to walk the road to peace and practice Gospel nonviolence. It remains the only solution.
This month, my friends and I gathered at Los Alamos, New Mexico, to commemorate the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at Ashley Pond, the actual spot where the bombs were built sixty nine years ago. We sat in sackcloth and ashes for thirty minutes of contemplative prayer, and then gathered in the park for a discussion about our witness and Archbishop Tutu’s recent call for nuclear disarmament. It was a beautiful, prayerful, hopeful day.
We’ve already begun to organize for next year, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We’re hoping to host a national conference on nonviolence as part of www.campaignnonviolence.org, which will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and include vigils at Los Alamos on August 6th and 9th. Mark your calendars and plan to attend! Stay tuned for details.
I’m also working hard with my friends at www.campaignnonviolence.org. Please check out this new website. We have over 120 actions occurring across the USA in every state starting the week of September 21st to protest war, poverty and environmental destruction, and to promote a new culture of peace and nonviolence. I will be leading a national press conference about this in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18th, with my friend Dennis Kucinich and others. Then I will attend the Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21st. I’m on the national committee for the Peace Table, and we are organizing a rally before the march. I’m hope to see you there!
The week before, I will lead a retreat, “Creating a Compassionate World,” with Roshi Bernie Glassman, founder of Zen Peacemakers, in Garrison, New York, on Sept. 12-14. Please join us! To register, visit: www.garrisoninstitute.org
Meanwhile, I’ve finished my new book on Jesus, called Walking the Way, which will be out later this year, and almost finished my new book on Thomas Merton, which will be out in January, called Thomas Merton, Peacemaker, available from Orbis Books, with a foreword by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Like you, I’m praying for an end to the violence and wars, from Ferguson to Iraq, from Gaza to Afghanistan, and hoping for humanity’s conversion to nonviolence. I appreciate every effort to support my book, The Nonviolent Life, and urge you to order copies from www.paceebene.org and give them to your friends, relatives, pastors and local leaders, that more and more people will commit themselves to the way of nonviolence.
“The God of peace is never glorified by human violence,” Thomas Merton once wrote. You and I are trying to go farther, and glorify the God of peace through our human nonviolence. May we continue to walk the path and do what we can for peace and justice! Thank you for all the great good you do. Please keep me in your good prayer.
God bless you, one and all!
Fr. John