Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence

Today I am joining the 30th Annual Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence, July 1 to August 9, together with thousands of people around the world who are praying to bring about peace and spread authentic Christlike Nonviolent Love (agape) throughout the world.  Because I believe that peace between Muslims and Christians is essential to bringing about world peace, I am using a modified Ramadan fast.  Ramadan is a forty day fast that begins July 20 and goes to August 18.  Muslims typically refrain from all food and drink including water from sun up to sun down during these days.  They begin their day with a good breakfast before sunrise and join their families and friends for a large meal after sun down. I am beginning my daily fast at sun up with a good breakfast and joining my community for the evening meal when it is served.  I am drinking water throughout the day.  

During these days I am praying for peace especially in the Middle East and between Muslims and Christians everywhere.  I am praying for an end to the war and for healing for all who have suffered mental, physical, emotional or spiritual injury.  I am praying for the Churches to return to the non-violent message of Jesus Christ.  I am praying for all Church leaders to step back from the maelstrom of violent political rhetoric and stop any  oppressive practices that serve no Christian purpose.  The message of Jesus Christ is clearly not about using your power and authority to assert your own will over others.  It is about loving kindness and peaceful resistance.  Fasting and prayer is an ancient practice that Jesus himself employed to bring about peace and overcome evil.  I found a website that gives good advice for engaging in the 40 day fast.  If you want to join us, please take the precautions advised on the Campus Crusade for Christ website to prevent damage to your health.  On behalf of Pax Christi and the Center for Christian Non-Violence, I ask for your prayers and support. If you choose to join us, please know that no effort is too small.  All efforts at bringing about peace through intentional acts of loving kindness, prayer and fasting contribute to the field of compassion from which peace flows.