Daily Riches: Only Love Can Do That (Parker Palmer, Martin Luther King, and Thomas Merton)*

“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking.” Carl Jung

“Violence is any way we have of violating the integrity of the other. Racism and sexism are violence. Derogatory labeling of any sort constitutes violence. Rendering other people invisible or irrelevant is an act of violence. So is manipulating people towards our ends as if they were objects that existed only to serve our purposes. …Violence is not just about bombing or shooting or hitting people. To create peace in our lives–and our world–we need to be able to sit with frustration and hold the tension of opposite views.” Parker Palmer

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The child is totally available in the present because he has relatively little to remember, his experience of evil is as yet brief, and his anticipation of the future does not extend very far. The Christian, in his humility and faith, must be as totally available to his brother, to his world, in the present, as the child is. But he cannot see the world with childlike innocence and simplicity unless his memory is cleared of past evils by forgiveness, and his anticipation of the future is hopefully free of craft and calculation. For this reason, the humility of Christian nonviolence is at once patient and uncalculating. The chief difference between nonviolence and violence is that the latter depends entirely on its own calculations. The former depends entirely on God and on his word.” Thomas Merton

“How I wish today that you of all people
would understand the way to peace.”
Jesus in Luke 19:42

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you have the humility required to “hold the tension of opposite views?”
  • Is your past flooded with forgiveness so that, like a child, you have “little to remember?”
  • As you anticipate the future, are you depending on “your own calculations” or depending “on God and on his word?”
  • How can you begin practicing a new “way?”

Abba, help me understand the way of peace.

For More: “The Violence of Our Knowledge” by Parker Parker

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Thanks for reading and sharing my blog! – Bill

Daily Riches: The Heart of the Christian Faith (Lamar Vest and Richard Stearns)

“Despite the fact that God’s heart for the poor is mentioned in some 2,100 verses of Scripture, many of us simply miss it. In a recent survey of adults in America conducted by Harris Interactive, although 80 percent of adults claimed to be familiar with the Bible–the best-selling book in history–46 percent think the Bible offers the most teachings on heaven, hell, adultery, pride or jealousy. In fact, there are more teachings on poverty than on any of those topics. …[And a] mandate for Christians to ‘go and do likewise’ (Luke 1:10) as laid out so clearly in the parable of the Good Samaritan…. How did Christianity drift so far from Jesus’ mandate to care for the widows and orphans? …From the first days of Christianity, followers of Jesus have demonstrated distinct concern for the poor and the oppressed. The apostle Paul speaks in Acts about returning to Jerusalem to bring ‘gifts for the poor.’ The early Christians rescued abandoned children and stayed in plague-ridden cities to help the sick. …When St. Francis leaped off his horse and embraced a leper, he was emulating what he’d read about Jesus. Throughout history, Christians have had a strong, if sometimes inconsistent, record of battling social ills. While some used the Black Death as an opportunity for fear mongering, Christians were among the few to remain in disease-ravaged cities to care for the sick. While many Christians acquiesced to slavery, it was a Christian, William Wilberforce, who led the fight to end the British slave trade and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others joining alongside him who championed racial equality in the United States. …Care for the poor and suffering should be at the core of our Christian faith because it is at the core of God’s desire–written large across the pages of the Bible.” Lamar Vest and Richard Stearns

For I was hungry, and you fed me.
Jesus in Matthew 25:35

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Well known Pastor Rick Warren was stunned the first time he noticed “the sheer volume of verses in the Bible that express God’s compassion for the poor and oppressed.” How about you? Are you still thinking the Bible’s biggest concern is heaven, hell or adultery?
  • Historically, many Christians emulated Jesus in their treatment of the poor and oppressed–and many others acted shamefully. If this is the measure, how are you doing?
  • Do you attempt to use your influence in the church to see that the poor are helped? …in your political party?

Jesus, I will follow you in caring for the poor, the helpless, and the oppressed.

For More: The Poverty and Justice Bible

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My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. If you liked this, please share!  –  Bill

Daily Riches: The Revolution of Tenderness (Pope Francis, Pete Scazzero and Martin Luther King, Jr.)

“The great Jewish theologian Martin Buber described the most healthy or mature relationship possible between two human beings as an ‘I-Thou’ relationship. In such a relationship, I recognize that I am made in the image of God, and so is every other person. This makes them a ‘thou’ to me. They have dignity and worth, and are to be treated with respect. I affirm them as being a unique and separate human being apart from me. In most of our human relationships, however, we treat people as objects – as an ‘it’. In an ‘I-It’ relationship, I treat you as a means to an end – as I might a toothbrush or a car …as if [you] were subhuman. …The priest and the Levite [in Jesus’ story in Luke 10] did not make the connection that emotional maturity (loving well) and loving God are inseparable. They missed the ‘thou’ lying on the side of the road and simply passed him by.” Pete Scazzero

“The Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.” Pope Francis

“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin …the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” Martin Luther King

“no one can tame the tongue. …Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father,
and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.
…Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
James 3:8-10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you see loving God and loving others as “inseparable?”
  • Do you sometimes realize that you have degraded someone’s status to that of a mere object?
  • How could a “revolution of tenderness” undercut racism, materialism and militarism?

Abba, help me treat those made in your image with the dignity they deserve.

For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”