OMI-JPIC Peace & Life Connections: December 2013
December 17th, 2013 Holiday Edition, originally published on OMI JPIC.
When, therefore, one wishes “A Happy Christmas” without the meaning behind it, it becomes nothing more than an empty formula. And unless one wishes for peace for all life, one cannot wish for peace for oneself. – Mohandas Gandhi
“Peace on Earth” Means “No More War”
You cannot seriously call yourself a follower of the nonviolent, peacemaking Jesus, whom we celebrate and honor at Christmas, if you own guns, support our wars, defend our nuclear weapons arsenal, tolerate executions and catastrophic climate change, and participate in violence in any form. Anyone who supports warfare, weapons or killing, even if they be a priest, minister or bishop, goes against the nonviolent Jesus. To be a Christian is to be a practitioner of creative nonviolence. To follow the peacemaking Jesus means becoming a peacemaker. – John Dear
Therefore, welcoming the child . . . means welcoming the poor and destitute, the stranger and the alienated, the disabled and the unborn. Christmas is universal, and is about the exaltation of the human person. We welcome all He welcomes, and are to make room for all He loves, especially the most unwanted, marginalized, burdensome, or inconvenient. If we welcome the baby Jesus, we welcome every baby and we welcome His teaching that every life is sacred, and we live accordingly. – Fr. Frank Pavone
Postscript to Christmas Village Voice, January 1, 1958
On Christmas Eve, Dorothy Day returned to the Women’s House of Detention where she had spent almost a month this summer. With her were fellow members of the Catholic Worker Movement, pacifists, individualists — several of whom had also gone to jail for refusing, because of their convictions, to take shelter during an air-raid drill. They had come to Village Square to sing carols to the women inside. They stood in the freezing street opposite the towering building, and sang . . . We sang ourselves to tears to a bunch of tough girls we would never see.
A Dorothy Day Christmas, December 24, 2012
From reader Sue Hayes: “There’s a story . . . that Dorothy, in her seventies, was arrested after a peace protest and they put her in a holding cell. After a bit, they opened the door and shoved in a young woman who was a prostitute and drunk. She cried and swore and said vile things to Dorothy and then fell on the floor at Dorothy’s feet and threw up all over Dorothy’s feet and legs…without a second’s hesitation, Dorothy sank down on the floor and took the young woman’s head gently into her lap and just held her, as a mother would hold her child. . . . It was LOVE which Dorothy clung to and was not afraid to offer to ANYONE, a love so God-partaking in its authority, so steely determined in delivery that “even the gates of Hell could not prevail against it!”
Past Holiday Editions
In 2010, we showed “It’s a Wonderful Movement” by using the theme of what would happen if the peace movement and the pro-life movement hadn’t arisen. We also had quotes from Scrooge against respect for life and a Martin Luther King Christmas sermon for it.
In 2011, we covered the materialism-reducing “Advent Conspiracy” and offered two pieces of children’s literature: a 1938 anti-war cartoon called “Peace on Earth,” and the anti-war origins of “Horton Hears a Who,” whose tagline – “a person’s a person, no matter how small” – is irresistible to pro-lifers.
In 2012, we had a couple of quotes showing the pro-life aspects of two prominent Christmas tales: A Christmas Carol with Ebenezer Scrooge, and the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. We also quote from John Dear about Jesus as peacemaker (as above) and Rand Paul about the 1914 spontaneous Christmas Truce; he then related it to the culture of life.