"When the king heard this news, he was struck with fear and very much shaken. Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed. There he remained many days, overwhelmed with sorrow, for he knew he was going to die." I Mc 6: 8-10
The two books of Maccabees recount the success of the Jewish people in defending their land and people, but only when they worshiped the one God and lived according to the law. Violent and graphic, the books of Maccabees are not easy to read because they force us to think about and reflect on our own violence especially towards those we perceive as weak and vulnerable but there is a another path.
Though not all Christians feel called to an intentional life of non violence, it is a real option for some, and one to which many of our contemporaries have given their lives. Take a look a the Family Pledge of Non Violence as a conversation starter and possible commitment. If we can find a way as families to begin a life of non violence in our homes and communities, we can make a real difference in the world. Though difficult to live out, especially in a world and culture as competitive as ours, non violence can be a leaven in our families and neighborhoods. When our friends and relatives know that we are working to let go of the need to always be right for the sake of being in peaceful relationships with one another, they might see themselves in a different light and begin to work towards letting go of those memories, attitudes and habits that separate them from their authentic selves.
Today, take a moment to pray for those who are separated from their families and friends because of unresolved conflicts.
What issues are most difficult for you to respond nonviolently?