If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.
Teilhard de Chardin
War stirs in men's hearts the mud of their worst instincts. It puts a premium on violence, nourishes hatred, and gives free rein to cupidity. It crushes the weak, exalts the unworthy, and bolsters tyranny .. .Time and time again it has destroyed all ordered living, devastated hope, and put the prophets to death.
Nobody was born nonviolent. No one was born charitable. None of us comes to these things by nature but only by conversion. The first duty of the nonviolent community is helping its members work upon themselves and come to conversion.
Lanza del Vasto
The longer we listen to one another - with real attention - the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.
Gandhi once declared that it was his wife who unwittingly taught him the effectiveness of nonviolence. Who better than women should know that battles can be won without resort to physical strength? Who better than we should know all the power that resides in noncooperation?
What is the revolution that we need? We need to dissolve the lie that some people have a right to think of other people as their property. And we need at last to form a circle that includes us all, in which all of us are seen as equal... We do not belong to the other, but our lives are linked; we belong in a circle of others.
To resort to power one need not be violent, and to speak to conscience one need not be meek. The most effective action both resorts to power and engages conscience. Nonviolent actions does not have to get others to be nice. It can in effect force them to consult their consciences. Nor does it have to petition those in power to do something about a situation. It can face the authorities with a new fact and say: Accept this new situation which we have created.
A solid rock is not disturbed by the wind; even so, a wise person is not agitated by praise or blame.
Love the fellow of the resurrection, scooping up the dust and chanting "Live!"
Abba Poeman said about Abba Prior that every single day he made a fresh beginning.
Desert Fathers and Mothers
Justice is truth in action.
At some ideas you stand perplexed, especially at the sight of human sins, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by human love. Always decide, "I will combat it with human love." If you make up your mind about that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force; it is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it.
Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazo
The first thing to be disrupted by our committment to nonviolence will be not the system but our own lives.
Mankind will never win lasting peace so long as men use their full resources only in tasks of war. While we are yet at peace, let us mobilize the potentialities, particularly the moral and spiritual potentialities, which we usually reserve for war.
John Foster Dulles, War or Peace 1950.
Those for whom peace is no more than a dream are asleep to the future.
What good is it to me that Mary gave birth to the son of God fourteen hundred years ago, and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture? We are all meant to be mothers of God. God is always needing to be born.
The pioneers of a warless world are the young men (and women) who refuse military service.
We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.
Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson