Reflection on Nonviolence

Bob Cushing, a member of the Working Group on Re-Commitment to Gospel Nonviolence, offers the following reflection on the meaning of nonviolence.


"I believe that nonviolence is what the mind of Christ is about: AGAPE love as it is born and functions within all humanity. Nonviolence functions [in the classic 4 quadrants of spiritual direction]

1      intra-personally, that is in how we relate to ourselves, our own bodies, mind and spirit;

2      interpersonally in how we relate to others;

3      and systemically in how we relate (negatively in alcoholism, racism, tribalism; positively in solidarity as people of faith function in the Body of Christ in various movements and committed groups).

4      In all creation, ecology and the environmental dimension of the earth.

What Jesus calls beatitude is the habit of communion that flows from the mind of Christ. It is the learned skill of reconciling love in the normal conflicts of life that we must practice daily in order to become fully human and truly incorporated into the living body of Christ.

Nonviolence is the spirituality of Jesus, living in active communion with the world as it is, artfully practicing his reconciling love amid the tensions and conflicts of life: personally, communally, socially, ecclesially, economically, politically, and in every dimension and area of life.

I Corinthians 13 is the hymn of nonviolence. John 17:22 is its prayer: we are one. The transforming power of the cross and resurrection are its ultimate expression as we are reduced to AGAPE love."