Still Following The Prince of Peace


This morning I read the Birmingham Pledge of Nonviolence. Written in 1963, it was a core document that formed the nonviolent protest with Martin Luther King Jr. that led to the March on Washington and Civil Rights legislation. I read the description of the protestors, the young people that marched with him and how they were fire-hosed yet did not stop their protest. And their protest changed the country. Is the battle finished? No, not yet, but I’m convinced it will only be moved forward as we learn to live as Powerful Peacemakers, followers of the Prince of Peace.

To live non-violently one has to be strong. It begins with internal strength where we will not be violent to ourselves or hold negative thoughts to others. That takes strength for me! Good core strength. Then we must determine to treat others with kindness, graciousness and compassion, surrendering into the rivers of forgiveness. Nonviolent communication and deep listening become our way of life. That’s a huge challenge too for me! The third step is to engage with groups that are also seeking to bring peace and justice to our world, and to do it non-violently. They are already out there, most likely in your city. There is a peaceful movement. It just doesn’t get the press the violent one does.

To live non-violently one has to be strong. It is not enough to simply say ‘No. No more.’ The protesters in the 60’s were trained in methods of nonviolence. They had their core strengthened to bear suffering. Dr. King wrote, “We will match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to accept suffering and we will wear you down until justice comes.”

I’ve been inspired by John Dear’s book “The Nonviolent Life”. Perhaps pick it up for some holiday reading…. It’s small, full of questions, full of stories – and, don’t say I didn’t warn you…. an invitation to follow the Prince of Peace into a whole new way of living. We can make a difference. We can resist wrong. We can bring in the Kingdom of God for we are Powerful Peacemakers equipped by God’s Spirit for the battle.

And now I need to leave this wonderful writing desk to re-enter my battlefield… How about you? Where is your battlefield? Within yourself? With your family? At work? In your community?

May you know you are a Powerful Peacemaker and live in the strength of God’s love.

Love and prayers


Contemplative Fire Community Leader Canada



Remembrance Day Reflection


Goggle tells me that at last count, our earth has been divided up into approximately 206 nation states. Sixty-seven of these are currently engaged in war or armed conflict varying from outright war, to civil war, to rebel groups, to fighting Islamic terrorists or drug cartels. That doesn’t count the people controlled in slavery, human-trafficking or smuggling. I gasp at the daily violence on our planet.

I live in the safe and free country of Canada. Even travelling to USA, seeing the number of armed military in public places seems foreign. September 11 was a turning point for me. When I was safe at home that day, curled up on my couch watching the towers drop for the x number of times, I suddenly became aware that are all human beings and we are not to hurt each other. Thomas Merton far more eloquently describes his moment at the corner of Fourth and Walnut as waking from a dream of separation. He saw that we are not separate, we belong to each other. He saw us all walking around shining like the sun, with our core beauty, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only we could see each other that way there would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed.

I have growing in me, during the last decade, a great longing for peace. I’ve written before about being a Powerful Peacemaker. In a world where conflict seems the norm, what does it mean to be a peacemaker? How can I be non-violent in a violent world? —- Am I chasing rainbows? One person said to me today, “It’s a fairy tale, Anne.” I don’t think so. Do you?

Realistically, there are no soldiers at my door. But I know violence and I bet you do too. Violence is close to home. I think the first place I become a peacemaker is within me. Will I say “NO!” to the interior negative thoughts that seek to crush my God-breathed beauty? Then will I seek to engage in non-violent communication with others – no more sarcasm, teasing, critical words, judgement calls, competition or negativity. Will I choose to be thankful, see the core beauty of another, let go of grudges and extend forgiveness? That’s powerful work. It takes strength and lots of practice to lay down the weapons of my words.

Each year in November as we wear poppies for a few days, I recall those who died for my freedom, and each year the longing to find the pathway of peace grows. If you’re in Toronto, join me this Friday at 25 Wanless Avenue – 7.00pm for FIREWORKS! – Our topic this month is “Being non-violent in a violent world”. See for details. We’ll explore together what this might mean. Let’s make a difference in our own world.

Go in peace


Community Leader Canada