On Thursday, October 27th, Pope Benedict will convene a Day of Reflection, Pope Benedict will convene a Day of Reflection, “Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace,” in Assisi. This event will commemorate Pope John Paul’s Day of Prayer for Peace in 1986 and renew our commitment to active engagement on behalf of biblical shalom. I remember John Paul’s admonition that the cycle of violence stops at the time an aggrieved party lays aside his vengeance. Eminently practical advice! As I respond compassionately to offenses, I participate in the nonviolent reign of God. In his “Expanded Version of the Our Father,” St. Francis prays for the grace to refrain from returning evil for evil. In order to form our hearts into the way of peace and nonviolence, we offer: “The Narrow Path.” This DVD documentary features Jesuit Father John Dear. Fr. Dear has been immersed in the vocation of peace since his initial encounter with the Beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9).” Called into priestly ministry and marked with the charism of peace, Fr. Dear has been a prolific spiritual writer and activist. In this DVD, Fr. Dear clearly shares his Christological understanding of Jesus as the incarnation of peace. He shares the cost of this discipleship in the forms of incarceration and dismissal as the pastor of one parish in New Mexico. With 25 short segments, this 108 minute DVD offers rich fare for a variety of formation settings for older adolescent, young adult and mature adult groups. Fr. Dear locates nonviolent action as the intersection of the world’s great religious traditions. The word, Islam, he points out, means peace. He similarly invokes the call to peace as foundational for Christianity. Upon Jesus’ arrest, Peter draws his sword to defend his master and violently strikes the high priest’s slave. Fr. Dear hears Jesus’ words to Peter: “Put your sword into its scabbard (John 18:11),” as our Lord’s initial address to the universal Church. Jesus calls us to live in the beatitude of nonviolence. This film is one of a series from the San Damiano Foundation (http://www.sandamianofoundation.org). This foundation distributes the documentary films of Gerry Straub. Mr. Straub abandoned a lucrative career directing Hollywood soap operas to illuminate the social teachings of the Church. Order “The Narrow Path” DVD during your visit to the Media Resource Center @ click here, or call Dan Hardester or Dan Hardester serves as Secretary of the Evangelization Secretariat and Director of the Media Center.
On Thursday, October 27th, Pope Benedict will convene a Day of Reflection, Pope Benedict will convene a Day of Reflection, “Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace,” in Assisi.