Paragons of Peace
On Thursday night when I heard that Nelson Mandela had died I posted on facebook:
'I pray that Mandela may rest in peace, but the key thing for me is that when alive he worked for peace. He said "If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner." I don't want the peace of a graveyard, but the peace of a reconciled community.'
Mandela did not always pursue a path of peace, at least not in terms of non-violence, but he was an unequivocal champion of justice, an intrinsic component to that more holistic perspective on peace contained within the Hebrew concept of shalom...
I think the phrase "the peace of a graveyard" came from a quote by that other iconic hero of peace and justice Archbishop Oscar Romero that I had been reading earlier yesterday, where he said:
"Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous,
tranquil contribution of all
to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism.
Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty."
Archbishop Oscar Romero