Violence and Common Apostolic Discernment |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-06-06 22:59.
We touch our experiences of violence (as victims, as perpetrators, as witnesses, as bystanders) and share those, to discover how our experiences are to all of us and to our communities as well as to the people we serve, a gift of God. This requires in depth encounters, in which we humbly learn to be open to one another, because precisely that openness is part of our service to peace building. We also try to connect serious reflection and analysis to the experiences of compassion - both need to complement each other, as reflection without compassion looses its heart, while compassion without reflection risks to reduce one’s commitment to simply tending wounds (working on symptoms) without reaching out to the causes of violence.
I feel how much I have been learning during my 7 years work in the now defunct MaCSP programme at the K.U.Leuven: Luc Reychler’s emphasis on Peace Architecture, René Bouwen’s insistence on Relational Constructionism, and Stephan Parmentier’s perspective of restorative justice, together with Elias Lopez’ work on political forgiveness and reconciliation, and on networking between the field, the academy and the decision-makers in a qualified relational peace advocacy network, have led us to the metaphors of peace building as community building along a line that goes from separating borderlines to connecting frontier spaces, and as inspired by the mestizo-theology developed by Virgilio Elizondo. I have had the honour to work with these inspiring people and they have deeply influenced my understanding of religious life as community building with the vows of poverty, obedience and chastity as the rules of the game of community building.
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