Book Review: Seizing the Nonviolent Moments by Nancy Small
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Nancy Small has just published a new book, Seizing the Nonviolent Moments: Reflections on the Spirituality of Nonviolence Through the Lens of Scripture, available from Wipf and Stock.
Life is filled with opportunities to practice nonviolence. If we kept track, we’d be surprised at how often we get to choose a violent or nonviolent response to a given situation. Seizing these moments is a spiritual practice that shapes a nonviolent heart. Many people doing this together shapes the heart of a nonviolent world.
This book is a humble and accessible approach to nonviolence based on the belief that no one is perfectly nonviolent. We are all works in progress. Each chapter presents an imaginative interpretation of a scripture story about seizing a nonviolent moment that sheds new light on nonviolence and its spirituality.
Stories of contemporary peacemakers are woven throughout offer lessons for living a spirituality of nonviolence for our times. Prophetic words from the US Catholic bishops emphasize the essential role of peacemaking in renewing the earth. Questions following each chapter inspire personal reflection and make the book a welcome resource for classrooms, parishes, and small groups.
The more we seize the nonviolent moments in our lives, the more we are transformed by them. And the more we experience the power of nonviolence within ourselves, the more we believe in its potential to transform our troubled world.
This review is taken from Pax Christi’s website with permission from Nancy Small, who has been a close friend of Agape for over 20 years. As a spiritual mentor to Suzanne, who has read and cherished her book, Suzanne writes that “Nancy’s book captures the biblical legacy of nonviolent women, especially in the chapter, ‘Midwives of Life and Liberation’ in which Nancy holds out the spirit of women in Hebrew Scripture who ‘seize their nonviolent moment with the fortitude of faith. They align themselves not with Pharoah but with God who cherishes life.’” Suzanne feels that such reminders of the nonviolent legacy of women are essential for young women today, many of whom are not aware of their nonviolent lineage.