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Aug 22, 2019

"Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience." --Thomas Merton

Conscience and Resistance

At 20 Scott Russell Sanders was faced with whether to join the Vietnam conflict or find "a refuge from the pressures of a society obsessed with buying stuff, having fun, and waging war." Influenced by Thomas Merton's essay, "Rain and the Rhinoceros" to make a critical choice which you can read about here, he goes on to explain in this beautiful essay how he has found a life for himself beyond violence, even as he recognizes that "we are in the world and part of it, and we are destroying everything because we are destroying ourselves spiritually, morally, and in every way."


Sanders notes how Merton spoke of "our false sense of separation from nature and our unchecked appetite for power and possessions." Have we more than we need? Do we owe nature more care and tenderness than usually occurs to us? Why not gather a few friends or family and discuss this with them. Could all of you give away some useful things to those who have more need for them?