Violence is not merely killing another.
It is violence when we use a sharp word,
when we make a gesture to brush away a person.
Most often we associate violence with physical injury and
bodily, often deadly harm. Yet, words spoken in anger and
insult – and messages set forth by offensive body language-
can inflict violence on others. Perpetrators of verbal violence
often recognize that what they resent in others comes from
a difficulty in admitting the same reality also lives in them.
(The Dialogue for a Spirituality of Nonviolence – R. Lynch, OSF and
A. Richard, OFM)
John Dear, Jesuit priest and peace activist, defines
violence as “that act of forgetting or ignoring who we
are: brothers and sisters of one another, each a child of
God. Violence occurs when we forget and deny our basic
identity as God’s children, when we treat another as if we
were worthless instead of priceless …. ”
Do I find myself critical of others with the same
weaknesses I have?
Do I often hurt others with my words?
SM MARK JANIK
Our Lady of Hope Province
Buffalo, New York