October 2

Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
Reflection

The name Gandhi is synonymous with peace and non-violence. In the movement of independence for India, Gandhi endured imprisonments without trial and fasted for weeks on end to purify both his own motives and those of others. He believed in nonviolent protest and became a symbol of peaceful resistance. During the civil unrest following independence, Gandhi fasted for communal peace. Gandhi predicted that seven things will destroy us:

Wealth Without Work                   Science Without Humanity
Pleasure Without Conscience       Religion Without Sacrifice
Knowledge Without Character      Politics Without Principle
Commerce Without Morality

All of them have to do with social and political conditions and the antidote of each of these “deadly sins” is an explicit standard based on principles and values not comfort and expediency.

Prayer

Let us repent together for our violence and ask for the grace to become people of reconciliation and peace. Let us give no support to those who choose violence instead of nonviolence, those who support the culture of war, those who sustain prejudice and hatred because of differences.

Action

Spend time reflecting on Gandhi’s “seven deadly sins”. Draw out the implications of each. If possible discuss them with another/others.

Suggested Reading

Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.
Matthew 26:52

Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of humanity. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of humanity. Nonviolence is not passivity in any shape or form. It is the most active force in the world…Just as one must learn the act of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for nonviolence. One person who can express nonviolence in life exercises a force superior to all the forces of brutality…My optimism rests on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to develop nonviolence. The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world…When the practice of nonviolence becomes universal, God will reign on earth as God reigns in heaven.
Mohandas Gandhi

Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.
Mohandas Gandhi

Where there’s injustice, I always believed in fighting. The question is, do you fight to change things or to punish? For myself, I’ve found we’re all such sinners, we should leave punishment to God. And if we really want to change things, there are better things than derailing trains or slashing someone with a sword.
Mohandas Gandhi

There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.
Mahatma Gandhi

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
Mohandas Gandhi

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
Martin Luther King Jr.

We must, I believe, start teaching our children the sanity of nonviolence much earlier.
Alice Walker

One of the principles of nonviolence is that you leave your opponents whole and better off than you found them.
Andrew Young

Nonviolence is the only credible response to the violence we’re seeing around the world.
Coretta Scott King

Christian nonviolence must be embodied in a community that is an alternative to the world’s violence.
Stanley Hauerwas

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