As Gandhi once quipped, "The only people on earth who do not see Christ and His teachings as nonviolent are Christians."Let that sink in for a minute. Don't leap to the "Yea, but..." Don't get defensive. Just sit with it for a minute.
If we are rigorously honest, most of us will admit that no amount of words, or bible verses, or just war theories, can help us escape from this indictment. In the end, our actions speak louder than our words. So-called "right beliefs" cannot wipe the blood from our hands.
Anthony de Mello, S.J., in his book Contact with God makes this comment;
What the modern world, and in particular the younger generation, is saying to us today is: "Don't just talk, show me." This is what India has been saying for centuries. I remember the good Father Abhishiktananda telling me some years ago of a holy Hindu he met in the south of India. He said to him; "You missionaries will never have any impact on us unless you come to us as gurus. The guru is a person who does not merely talk about what he has read in a book, but talks from the assurance of his own religious experience."Don't just talk, show me." What are we showing the world right now? If Christians are silent about the war in Iraq, we will be affirming Gandhi's observation; that Christianity has abandoned the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is time to repent, and show the world the true heart of Christ.
Repentance begins with being convicted of sin. We confess our lack of action in doing whatever we can to stop the killing. We admit, with no justifications, without crying, "But he hit me first!" that we have sinned, against God and our neighbor, and have fallen short of the glory of God.
And then we reorient ourselves back towards God; we amend our lives. We don't trust ourselves for this amendment; we seek a higher power for healing. We seek the infusion of God's Holy Spirit. This is our greatest need right now, as Anthony de Mello goes on to tell us;
The greatest need of the Church today is not new legislation, new theology, new structures, new liturgies - all these without the Holy Spirit are like a dead body without a soul. We desperately need someone to take away our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh; we need an infusion of enthusiasm and inspiration and courage and spiritual strength. We need to persevere in our love without discouragement or cynicism...with new faith in the future. In other words, we need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.Veni Sancte Spiritus.