This year for Charism day we were gifted with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton who spoke to us about the most radical call of the Gospel: The call to Non-Violence and Active Love. Not only did he share passionately the Gospel call reflective in Jesus’ life but he modeled it in his own simple presentation of love and non-violence. He walks the talk in every possible way. He called us to internalize the Gospel values and find a way to live and speak our deep concern for the world. He assured us that “Non-violence and Active Love” can guide our response to unbridled capitalism, poverty, racism, war and the militarization of society.
He encouraged each of us to take the Pax Christi Vow of Nonviolence which he shared as follows:
RECOGNIZING THE VIOLENCE IN MY OWN HEART, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God…You have learned how it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy’; but I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven.”
I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus:
- by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life;
- by accepting suffering rather than inflicting it;by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence; by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart;
- by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence;
- by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart;
- by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live;
- by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.
God, I trust in Your sustaining love and believe that just as You gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so You will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.
As he concluded we sang the Blessing of St. Francis to him