Golden Jubilee for Pax Christi

Golden Jubilee for Pax Christi

National Catholic Reporter featured a commentary from Bishop John Stowe OFM Conv. recognizing the 50th anniversary of Pax Christi USA. Bishop Stowe is the third bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky and serves as the bishop president of Pax Christi USA. Below is an excerpt:

The methodology of Pax Christi has been consistent: prayer, study and action. Realizing that peace is ultimately a gift of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, Pax Christi members pray daily to be receptive to God’s gift of peace. Prayer is sometimes done in a public format, providing a faithful witness in places where the forces of violence and death are operative and calling forth a response from other Christians who are complicit in the violence perpetrated in their name.

Study of the issues that provoke violence and injustice as well as teaching alternatives to violence and the spirituality and practice of active nonviolent resistance allows Pax Christi to adhere to Jesus’ instruction to be as cunning as serpents and gentle as doves. The action undertaken by Pax Christi is in relation to the prayer and study; it is sometimes symbolic and liturgical; it is sometimes practical as in communication with lawmakers and parties in dispute; it is always undertaken with respect for those who differ and avoids the demonization of the other.

As we observe this golden jubilee of Pax Christi USA, we continue to long for the realization of Isaiah’s vision of swords and spears becoming instruments for cultivation of food. But we do not wait idly, we contribute to the building of that peaceable kingdom which Jesus inaugurated with his death and resurrection. We cultivate inwardly and demonstrate outwardly that peace which was breathed by the Risen Christ upon the apostles.

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