What You Make of Violence

What You Make of Violence

Christ our Lord did not come to bring peace as a kind of spiritual tranquilizer. He brought to his disciples a vocation and a task: to struggle in the world of violence to establish His peace not only in their own hearts but in society itself.
— Thomas Merton

Please notice: Not peace through struggle.

Not peace by way of struggle.

Peace as a certain type of struggle.

Not a certain type of comfort, mind you.

And not merely some temporary relief of tension.


By implication, the shalom of God [i.e. human well-being and flourishing] is not obtained by violence—in message, means, or method.

Violence was unequivocally not the way or the manner of Jesus and his mission.

That being said, His peace requires direct, sustained engagement with "the world of violence."

We cannot shrink from this decisive encounter.

And there is no peace-star in the sky to wish upon.


By implication, it is also true that faithful prayers alone are not enough.

So His peace must necessarily clash with violence on the battlefield of ideas and ideologies.

But when this clash happens, the change can happen—personally, then socially.

The violence of individuals, tribes, and nations can be transformed into peace.

Instead of, God help us, yet another violent struggle in the name of peace.

Fast & Free

Fast & Free

In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight