A Merciless Response

Last week some of us stood together in Penclawdd and remembered. We remembered the fallen and their wars and we faced the reality that war will never lead to the end of war. This world has not yet learned its lesson: it has chosen to refuse to understand and has been unwilling to embrace the road to peace, the method of love, the better way. A week later, we mourn with France and with all humankind another series of atrocious attacks in Paris. President Francois Hollande has vowed a “merciless” response. However understandable, this is war talk. It cannot bring peace.

Peace can only come through listening. Deep listening.

        When we learn to listen deeply, our listening exposes the existence of wrong thinking in the other person and wrong thinking in us. The other person has wrong thinking about him or herself and about us. We have wrong thinking about ourselves and about the other person. Most of us have been taught to think dualistically. Something is either wrong or it is right, good or bad, black or white. This is not true. Dualistic thinking is always wrong thinking. It is the makings of aggression, conflict and war.

       Islamic State terrorists have wrong thinking. They believe that the West is trying to destroy them as a religion and as a civilization. So they want to destroy the West, kill the West before the West can kill them. The anti-terrorist might think much in the same way—that these people are nothing but terrorists and they are trying to get rid us, so we have to get rid of them first. Both sides are motivated by fear, anger and wrong thinking. But wrong thinking can’t be overcome by machine guns, guided drones or suicide bombs. They can only be overcome by compassionate listening and love. Sister you are hurting. Brother I can see you are. What can ease your pain, your hurting, your suffering?

Jesus told us to love our enemies. I don’t think he meant give into them or condone the methods they use to be heard. I think he meant listen to them. Tell them how you feel too.

This is the way of Christ.

A merciless response is not the way of Christ. A merciless response will lead to another merciless response. And the cycle will not stop until

the human being

wipes human being

from the face of this beautiful earth.


~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on November 14, 2015.

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