Being Truly Nonviolent
by Paul del Junco
But it goes without saying, push comes to shove—being truly nonviolent (“non-violent love of friends and enemies” as Charlie McCarthy says) in the face of overwhelming physical violence takes far more courage than picking up a gun and fighting to save your country.
I’ve always had fundamental doubts about whether I have or could have that sort of faith and courage, not to mention love. Nonetheless, I simply can’t pretend the way of Jesus isn’t “the way, the truth, and the life”. By “life” here clearly Jesus is not talking about our physical life, but eternal life. Without that eschatological perspective, we are doomed following Jesus here in our mortal flesh. It didn’t work out for Jesus; it certainly won’t work out for us. “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ” says my namesake, “then we are of all people most to be pitied.” Martyrdom was practically routine in the first 3 centuries of the Christian era. The resurrection of Christ is all about giving us that eschatological perspective, the life of the world to come, while still here in this “vale of tears”.
Paul del Junco, who helped to build Francis House in 1987, is a long-time friend of Agape.