“The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle.” (Frederick Douglass)
Hating another person does harm both to those who suffer discrimination and those who discriminate and oppress others. (Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory December 2, 2016, Catholic News Service)
But before we pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit of peace upon us, I think it is helpful to name the horrific reality of these dark times, namely, that we are possessed in varying degrees by the evil spirit of war and violence. The evil spirit seeks to discourage us, and to keep us quiet, indifferent, apathetic and afraid. The evil spirit wants us to mind our own business and look the other way while it stirs up war and kills our sisters and brothers. The evil spirit is behind every act of violence, every bomb, every murder, every execution, every abortion, every assassination, every starvation and every war.” (John Dear, The Holy Spirit of Peace, May 28, 2004)
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” (Frederick Douglas)
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” - Albert Einstein
“Since war itself is the most extreme form of terrorism, a war on terrorism is profoundly self-contradictory.” -Howard Zinn
“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to them will We give a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on them their reward according to the best of their actions.” Quran 16:97
“In the Catholic Worker we must try to have the voluntary poverty of St. Francis, the charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the intellectual approach of St. Dominic, the easy conversations about things that matter of St. Philip Neri, the manual labor of St. Benedict.” - Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement
“He or she who lives by the “news” stories doled out by multinational media corporations, dies—spiritually, mental and physically—by the “news” stories doled out by multinational media corporations.” -Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
“Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?” James Baldwin
“The thing about following Jesus is that you don’t do the right thing because it works; you do it because it’s the right thing. If it doesn’t work, nothing works because the wrong thing doesn’t work either. I think we have proven that.” Rev. John L. McKenzie
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
“In reality, there is a single integral community of the Earth that includes all its component members whether human or other than human. In this community every being has its own role to fulfill, its own dignity, its own inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice. Every being declares itself to the entire universe. Every being enters into communion with other beings.
In every phase of our imaginative, aesthetic, and emotional lives we are profoundly dependent on this larger context of the surrounding world.” -Father Thomas Berry
“The problem which divides people today is not a political problem; it is a social one. It is a matter of knowing which will get the upper hand: the spirit of selfishness or the spirit of sacrifice; whether society will go for ever-increasing enjoyment, or for everyone devoting themselves to the common good… .”
~ Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, co-founder of St. Vincent De Paul Society
“War is the unfolding of miscalculations.”
— Barbara Tuchman
“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion—its message becomes meaningless.” ― Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism
“This is the rule of most perfect Christianity, its most exact definition, its highest point, namely, the seeking of the common good … for nothing can so make a person an imitator of Christ as caring for neighbors.” —John Chrysostom (ca. 347–407)
“The really critical thing isn’t who’s sitting in he White House, but who is sitting in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories. Who is protesting, who is occupying offices and demonstrating ? - those are the things that determine what happens….” Howard Zinn
“The poor tell us who we are,
The prophets tell us who we could be,
So we hide the poor,
And kill the prophets.”
If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. Ancient Chinese Proverb
God accepts our offerings of money and is pleased with the gifts we make to the poor, but on one condition: that every sinner, when offering God his money, should offer him his soul at the same time… When our Lord says: “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Mk 12,17), what does he seem to say but: “Just as you repay Caesar with his own image on a coin so repay God with the image of God within yourselves” (cf. Gn 1,26)…
That is why, as we have already said on numerous occasions, when we hand out money to the poor let us offer our souls to God so that, where our treasure is, there our heart may also be. Indeed, why does God ask us to give money? Unquestionably because he knows the special love we have for it, that we are always thinking about it and that, where our money is, there too is our heart. That is why God urges us to make up our treasure in heaven by making gifts of it to the poor; it is so that our hearts may follow where we have already sent our treasure and that, when the priest says: “Lift up your hearts” we may answer with peaceful conscience: “We lift them up to the Lord.” — Saint Caesarius of Arles (470–543), monk and bishop, Sermon 32, 1–3; SC 243
“The truth is that it is impossible to interpret Jesus as violent. Violence is contrary to the Kingdom of God. It is an instrument of the Antichrist. Violence never serves man, but dehumanizes him.” -Pope Benedict XVI on 3/11/12
“Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.” ― Sojourner Truth
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.”
― Frederick Douglass
“It is a schizophrenia that runs deep in the soul to try to teach how to love God and to kill in the same place.” ---Rev. Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
“It is not what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” -—Moliere
“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that - it lights the whole sky.” ---Hafiz
“You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.”
— Henry David Thoreau
“The poor tell us who we are, the prophets tell us who we could be, so we hide the poor, and kill the prophets.”
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” Gail Sheehy
“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” —Rosa Parks born Feb.4, 1913; she was 42 when she refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery AL.
“Today the first and perhaps the only duty of the philosopher‘is to defend man against himself: to defend man against that’extraordinary temptation toward inhumanity to which — almost without being aware of it — so many human beings today have yielded.”-- Gabriel Marcel.
“It is a fearful thing to hate whom God has loved. To look upon another – his weaknesses, his sins, his faults, his defects – is to look upon one who is suffering. He is suffering from negative passions, from the same sinful human corruption from which you yourself suffer. This is very important: do not look upon him with the judgmental eyes of comparison, noting the sins you assume you’d never commit. Rather, see him as a fellow sufferer, a fellow human being who is in need of the very healing of which you are in need. Help him, love him, pray for him, do unto him as you would have him do unto you.”
— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724–1783)
“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: ‘The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music.”
— Kurt Vonnegut
“Resolve to treat the things in your possession as belonging to others.”
— St Basil the Great
“Nonviolent action is born of two very powerful forces: the absolute and total rejection of injustice committed against human beings, and a love that impels one towards the construction of a new society. It transforms hatred into a constructive force. The process of Christian interpretation helps us to see that the real enemy is not another human being but the system that has made individuals evil. These individuals are the oppressors, who must who must be liberated from their active oppression. By dramatizing the injustice in a social context, one obliges consciences to face up to the injustice in a social context, one obliges consciences to face up the injustice that is there. The oppressor is forced to recognize his injustice in an explicit and public way. The repression he uses to stifle nonviolent action makes clear his usual pattern of conduct, and nonviolent resistance reveals his own moral inferiority.”
— Freedom Made Flesh The Mission of Christ and His Church by Ignacio Ellacuria, Orbis Books, 1976
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
— Anne Lamott
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
— Edmund Burke
Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. And our problem is that scene in All Quiet on the Western Front where the schoolboys march off dutifully in a line to war.
Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem. We recognize this for Nazi Germany. We know that the problem there was obedience, that the people obeyed Hitler. People obeyed; that was wrong.
They should have challenged, and they should have resisted; and if we were only there, we would have showed them.
Even in Stalin’s Russia we can understand that; people are obedient, all these herdlike people.
— Howard Zinn
There can be no joy in living without joy in work.
— St. Thomas Aquinas
What is a merciful heart? It is the heart’s burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons, and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. For this reason he offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth, and for those who harm him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner he even prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns without measure in his heart in the likeness of God.
— St Isaac of Syria
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
— Martin Luther King Jr.
If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.
— G. K. Chesterton
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
— Elie Wiesel
“Don’t fight forces, use them.”
— Buckminster Fuller
“I am not trying to abolish conflict. There is great value in healthy conflict. And the dangers of group-think are real. Conflict can inspire creative leadership. Where there are fundamental conflicts over values, they should not be ignored in a sentimental yearning for consensus. The problem in our communities today is not that we have conflict, but that we manufacture conflict and exaggerate differences to the point where it is very difficult to make meaningful change. Too often we abandon basic civility and cannot disagree without questioning the motives of our adversaries. Our standard as we debate should be similar to doctors’ Hippocratic Oath: “Do no harm.” Disagree, but don’t tear the community apart as you do.”
— Frederick Douglas in a speech in 1857
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”
— Albert Einstein
“We live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.”
— Walker Percy
“Everyone believes the Theory, except the man that makes it. No one believes the Data, except the man who takes it.”
—from a friend David Kruschke
“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. This new type of criminal … commits his crimes under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or to feel that he is doing wrong.”
— Hannah Arendt
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”
— Feodor Dostoevsky
I find it strange that the last place I can really quote Jesus these days is in American churches. They don’t want to hear ‘overcome evil with good.’ They don’t want to hear ‘those who live by the sword die by the sword.’ They don’t want to hear ‘if your enemy hurts you, do good, feed, clothe, minister to him.’ They don’t want to hear ‘blessed are the merciful.’ They don’t want to hear ‘love your enemies’.
— Tony Campolo quoted in Christian Week magazine