Today I attended mass at Saint Columba Catholic Church. For the parishioners, they provide a pamphlet called "The Justice That Makes Peace Possible: An Interfaith Proposal." SCCC seems to be a genuine liberation theology driven Catholic church in the heart of the Bay Area - the sort of congregation that I have hungered for for years.
I want people to see for themselves and to visit their website or, if they are in the area, the church for themselves. However, I really did enjoy parts of the proposal and want to share portions of it here. The text was originally written by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P. with the Interfaith Peace Project. Check it out:
1. We must become what we want the World to be. It is quite normal to have a vision for the World. We are often disappointed with the World around us and the people we meet and encounter. Sometimes we are angered by the misdeeds of others. The World situation can seem overwhelming. I come to realize what disturbs me. This upset can be the beginning of an uncommon wisdom. If I know what offends me then would I not seek to become what I hope someday will be the reality around me?
3. We must be mindful of our interior disposition especially in times of conflict. Self-care is fundamentally a most socially radical act. The justice that creates peace is found in every thought, word and deed. I keep vigilance at the door of my mind, heart and soul desiring to be aware of how I am when I am preparing to meet and engage another person. I must realize the humanity of others in every moment of my life. I am called to be aware I might be a source of hope and peace to another.
5. We must disarm the hand, the mouth and the mind. I come to realize that my mind can harbor thoughts of violence and retaliation. I come to realize my mouth can strike with harsh words and destructive speech. I come to realize my hand can hold weapons of harm and death. I am struck by the realization of the power I have to destroy or harm another. I take conscious possession of my body, mind and spirit seeking to honor everyone I meet.
8. We must seek to be inspired by those who would be our enemy - seeking their Wisdom. Understanding what may be motivating the "enemy" is most difficult. While we never excuse violence, justice demands understanding. May we never judge another without seeking to be in the other's place.
10. We must stand "impathically" as "others" become our "companions" on the road of life. The "otherness" of people different from ourselves can be an obstacle to meeting them and knowing them. "Impathy" is my conscious willingness to "know" and "see" the World through the mind, heart and soul of the "other" who becomes my companion. Sometimes I might instinctively know what logic, reason and research cannot access I now raise my voice inviting all around me to engage in those deeds of justice by which the dignity and rights of all human beings are recognized and respected.