Monday, September 15, 2008

Something for us all to remember...


The tactic of nonviolence is a tactic of love that seeks the salvation and redemption of the opponent, not [our opponent's] castigation, humiliation, and defeat. A pretended nonviolence that seeks to defeat and humiliate the adversary by spiritual instead of physical attack is little more than a confession of weakness. True nonviolence is totally different from this, and much more difficult. It strives to operate without hatred, without hostility, and without resentment. It works without aggression, taking the side of the good that it is able to find already present in the adversary. This may be easy to talk about in theory. It is not easy in practice, especially when the adversary is aroused to a bitter and violent defense of an injustice which [the adversary] believes to be just. We must therefore be careful how we talk about our opponents, and still more careful how we regulate our differences with our collaborators. It is possible for the bitterest arguments, the most virulent hatreds, to arise among those who are supposed to be working together for the noblest of causes...

Nothing is better calculated to ruin and discredit a holy ideal than a fratricidal [and sororicidal] war among "saints."


Thomas Merton, Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander (New York: Doubleday, Inc., 1966) pp. 73-74

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