Extracts from a Thomas Merton essay,
“We Have to Make Ourselves Heard,”
first published in the June 1962 issue
of The Catholic Worker
It would be legitimate and even obligatory for all sane and conscientious people everywhere in the world to lay down their weapons and their tools and starve and be shot rather than cooperate in the war effort. If such a mass movement should spontaneously arise in parts of the world, in Russia and America, in China and in France, in Africa and in Germany, the human race could be saved from extinction….
From “The Gospel of Luke” in the book God Is Disappointed in You, by Mark Russell (writer) and Shannon Wheeler (cartoonist):
As he slowly bled to death, it seemed like the whole world had gathered to ridicule Jesus. As he hung there dying, they beat and mocked Jesus for being so naive as to waste his time on pathetic and misguided ideas like forgiveness. For which he forgave them.
“Peacemaker in the Manger”
Not as an invincible, weapon-wielding king,
But as a tiny-boned babe born to die came He.
Empire might made right all around Him,
But the Nazarene’s peace gospel made righteous sinners.
Not warmongering or vengeance for a suffered wrong,
But the Savior showed another way—other-cheek turning.
Sword and shield crushed enemies of Rome,
But by compassion Christ conquered assailants.
Not apathy or hatred toward His persecuting killers,
But only bloody love did thorn-crowned Messiah pour out for them.
Armored mockers drove deep the spikes, raised high the cross,
But naked Jesus gasped final forgiveness as our Prince of Peace.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
—Matthew 5:9 (New International Version)
Stories, stories, stories …
Whether it’s a historical tale of marauding pirates in the 1700s … or a sci-fi thriller about extra-terrestrials invading Planet Earth … or a military adventure featuring heroic US Special Forces in the Middle East … or a murder mystery with a down-on-his-luck private investigator … my days are filled with stories.
As much as I enjoy reading and working on stories as an editor, at this time of year my thoughts turn to another story—one that I believe no human could conjure up with even the wildest imagination. Some call it the Greatest Story Ever Told. Others relegate it to the land of legend and myth.
Whatever you may believe, it’s a story that’s epic in every sense of the word: Continue reading