The Spiritual Practice of Non-resistance

Sunday Message by Guest Speaker Matt Purinton (Audio) —

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

Rev. LeRoy Lowell

Rev. LeRoy Lowell

My heart is filled with gratitude for the love and support that have been extended to Rev. LeRoy and me during his physical challenge. It is amazing how the body can mystify the experts in the medical field. It has been five months now without a conclusive diagnosis on what is going on with Rev. LeRoy. He has been a patient at Mass General now for two weeks and, as of this writing, the top dogs are still trying to track down the cause. I joke with him that he might be written up in the medical journals for some very rare medical phenomenon — a miracle that passes all understanding.

Now, back to the love and support — kudos to Matt Purinton for stepping in on short notice to speak on Sunday. The weather forecast was such that I felt the need to stay in Boston, which I am grateful I did. So, thank you Matt!

Fr. John Dear

Fr. John Dear

I know I sound like a broken record but will say this again: If you haven’t registered for the John Dear workshop, don’t wait any longer. Our friend Mary Ellen Quinn from Pax Christi Maine said it best in a recent email to me: “Every day, we have tragic reminders as to why Jesus’ Way of Nonviolence is so essential in our world. John Dear speaks about nonviolence towards self, others, communities, our planet as well as creative nonviolent action. It is so heartening to see the Parkland HS students raising their voices for change, speaking truth to power. God knows we need their wisdom and their energy!”

I have been telling you for some time now that we can no longer stand on the sidelines; Fr. John will give us some instructions on how to realize a spiritually transformed world through love and nonviolence. He will be speaking on Sunday morning as well. This is a perfect opportunity for you to invite family and friends to come and hear this renowned nonviolent activist.

Fr. John’s new book, They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence In a Time of Climate Change, will be available. Here is what Amazon says:

“This is a remarkable testimony summing up a remarkable life: nonviolence is our greatest tool, and here you see it wielded with kindness, firmness, and skill.” — Bill McKibben

In the Beatitudes, Jesus says of the meek, “They will inherit the earth.” Meekness, John Dear argues, is the biblical word for nonviolence. He makes the connection Jesus makes at the start of his Sermon on the Mount between our practice of nonviolence and our unity with creation: Our rejection of nonviolence is inevitably linked to the catastrophic effects of climate change and environmental ruin.

Drawing on personal stories of his life in the desert of New Mexico, his time as a chaplain at Yosemite, his friendship with indigenous and environmental leaders, his experience at the Standing Rock protests, as well as his work with the Vatican on a new stance on nonviolence, John Dear invites us to return to nonviolence as a way of life and a living solidarity with Mother Earth and her creatures.

This Sunday I will be starting a series of talks from Fr. John’s book Walking the Way that will take us to Easter, following Jesus on the Lenten journey of gospel nonviolence to the cross and resurrection.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

P.S. If you were planning on being at the service this past Sunday and didn’t make it because of the snow and plan to be here this Sunday, please consider including your offering from last Sunday with this week’s. This is in alignment with nurturing stewardship.

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