LEANING INTO THE GOSPEL: Learning Love and Freedom
How do we grow in love and freedom? How do we offer nonviolent compassion to those who are suffering, including ourselves, other living beings and the planet itself?
This program will explore answers to those questions, through reflections on the Gospel message, stories and models of nonviolence in the past and present, and teachings from different spiritual traditions. It will also draw on new research, from scholars like Erica Chenoweth and others, who reveal that the key to creating effective and lasting social change lies in nonviolent movements. Participants will be introduced to the work of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a growing global movement within the Catholic Church, to more fully embrace Jesus’ message of nonviolence. The core truth and challenge of the Gospel message of nonviolence will be applied to the crisis that threatens survival on the planet today, and offer participants a way forward, based in hope and humility. As we face the intersection of climate destruction, global poverty and the cry of the oppressed, especially women, the necessity of Gospel nonviolence as a means of social transformation is clearer than ever.
Along with the input from Sister Anne McCarthy, OSB, the program will include prayer experiences as well as some simple, accessible rituals and exercises focused on heart reflection and response. Listening circles, simple movement-based prayer opportunities, and experiences of prayer with elements of the natural world will help participants to fully internalize a new approach to the crises that face us.
Resource Person: Sr. Anne McCarthy, OSB, coordinates Benedictines for Peace in Erie, PA, and participates in the global Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. She holds a MA in Theology from St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN in Monastic Studies and completed Shalem Institute’s Program, “Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats.” She is presently on the staff with Benetvision (www.joanchittister.org) and Monasteries of the Heart (www.monasteriesoftheheart.org). Anne served previously as National Coordinator of “Pax Christi USA” and on the board of the “Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIM-MID)”. She gardens with children in inner-city Erie and co-leads “Listening Hearts”, a spirituality program for women in poverty.
Chittister, Joan. Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life. New York: Convergent, 2017.
Dear, John. They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace & Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2018.
Dennis, Marie. Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church Returns to Gospel Nonviolence. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2018.
Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Minnesota: Milkweed Editions, 2013.
Kownacki, Mary Lou. A Monk in the Inner City: The ABCs of a Spiritual Journey. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2008.