Quo Vadis Domine?

Marcy,

It's important to distinguish between non-violence/non-aggression vs. the non-initiation of violence/aggression. The former is pacifism, the latter libertarianism. A pacifist is a libertarian but a libertarian is not necessarily a pacifist.

For example, I'm a libertarian but not a pacifist. If someone attacked me, I would be willing to punch or shoot back in self-defense (if running away were not an option).

Best, Michael

Michael,

Yes! You are right. I stand corrected regarding the difference
between non-aggression and non-violence.

Marcy

Marcy,

It's important to distinguish between non-violence/non-aggression

vs. the non-initiation of violence/aggression. The former is
pacifism, the latter libertarianism. A pacifist is a libertarian but
a libertarian is not necessarily a pacifist.

For example, I'm a libertarian but not a pacifist. If someone

attacked me, I would be willing to punch or shoot back in self-
defense (if running away were not an option).

Best, Michael

From: Amarcy D. Berry
To: lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 9:36 AM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] Re: Quo Vadis Domine? Or Nuclear Holocaust?

Dear Ron,

Yahoo seems to have devoured my first response to your article, so
here goes again. Thank you for the article. I happen to have

chosen

to follow the non-violent teachings of Jesus myself, but I just

want

to express my thought that Jesus is not the only path to non-

violence

(I am not suggesting that you feel He is). A rejection of violence
is a state of mind (I gave the example before of how in our home we
carefully take the black widow spiders and other insects outside
rather than kill them); same with its acceptance. Besides, right

now,

with things going to ---- in a handbasket of violence, one would
think that choosing non-violence as an alternative would be the

smart

thing to do!

So, it would be great, in my view, if we Libertarians, through our
activists and our political candidates, did more to promote non-
violence, or in our lingo non-aggression; whether aggression in our
City or in Washington DC.

Regards,

Marcy

--- In lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Ron Getty <tradergroupe@>
wrote:
>
> Dear Everyone;
>
> From time to time Christianity has popped up in discussion or its
impact. This article is well worth reading as it states from the
article: To commit one's life to this cross-based love - as opposed
to a violent, partisan sword-based love with the other as the

primary

object of sacrifice - in a world saturated in evil, takes great
boldness and courage, great faith and trust. It takes genuine

heroism.

>
> It also rightfully skewers - in a nice manner - all those

Christian

leaders - laic and church - who strongly support war - any war -
because God is on our side. You do not have to be a practicing
Christian to appreciate the sentiments he espouses or the direction

a

person could take - because it is all based on pure Love of All
Mankind - without restrictive covenants as to whom should get the
Love...
>
> You may wish to read it - set it aside and come back and re-read
it - maybe even two or three times. Try it you may like it.
>
> Peace - Brothers and Sisters - Peace... :slight_smile:
>
> Ron Getty
> SF Libertarian
>
> BTW: I would justapose the latest newspaper article about the

Bush

Regime authorizing new hybrid nuclear weapons to replace

the "aging"

6,000 nuclear weapons the USA has in its arsenal - but what the
heck... Israel is going to be using its nuclear weapons to take out
Iran's budding nuclear generation program - and we won't be around
that much longer after that happens - good old blowback .... and we
in the US will pay the price as Nietzsche's Beast of Prey is let
loose - like the dogs of war...
>
>
> http://tinyurl.com/yfllec
>
> Quo Vadis, Domine?
> by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
> by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
>
> DIGG THIS
> Quo Vadis Domine is the name of my favorite church in Rome. It

lies

just outside the gates of my favorite place in Rome, the Callistus
Catacombs. It is a tiny, old church, easily missed by tourists
looking for "the grandeur that was Rome." It commemorates the time

in

the life of Christianity when St. Peter decides to remain in Rome,
rather than go to another city in order to avoid persecution and
death. While the historical environment of that time (54-68 AD) is
well known, the precise historical details of Peter's choice are

not.

The spiritual drama of Peter's decision, however, has been
illuminated and immortalized by the Nobel Prize Laureate in
Literature, Henryk Sienkiewicz, in his 1905 masterpiece Quo Vadis.
> At the climactic moment of the novel, Peter is leaving Rome with
his friend, Nazarius, during the height of Nero's persecution of
Christians. He meets the risen Jesus on the outskirts of the city.
Jesus, however, is walking into, not out of, Rome:
> The traveling staff fell out of Peter's hand. His eyes were fixed
immovably ahead. His lips were open, and his face reflected
unbelievable surprise, immense joy, and rapturous exaltation.
> Suddenly he threw himself on his knees, his arms lifted upward

and

stretched to the light, and his lips cried out: "Christ! O Christ!"
His head beat against the dust as if he were kissing the feet of
someone only he could see. Then there was silence.
> "Quo vadis, Domine?" his voice asked at last, punctured by his
sobbing. "Where are you going, Lord?"
> Nazarius heard no answer. But a voice of ineffable sweetness and
abundant sorrow rang in Peter's ears, "When you abandon my people,"
he heard, "I must go to Rome to be crucified once more."
> The apostle lay still and silent with his face pressed into the
dust. Nazarius thought he had either died or fainted, but he rose

at

last, picked up his pilgrim's staff, and turned again toward the
seven hills.
> "Quo vadis, domine?" the boy asked like an echo of the apostle's
cry.
> "To Rome," Peter murmured.
> Consistency
> Before people take seriously a proclamation of someone who asks a
sacrifice from them, common sense demands that they see a

consistency

between the words and deeds of that person. Imagine if Jesus, after
having taught, "Love your enemies," for three years, rather than
saying to Peter, "Put up your sword," had said, "Peter, get the

other

ear!" Would people say of Him that He teaches "with authority" (Lk
4:32; Mt 7:29; Mk 1:22)? If, on the cross, instead of
praying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!"

Jesus

had instead cried out, "Father, have no mercy on those who have

done

this to me," would His teaching, "Love your enemies" be credible?
> Jesus was aware that His teachings about the Way of Eternal Life
would forever sound - and would forever be - hollow if left un-
enfleshed. He had to walk through the furnace of His own truth

before

He could expect others to live what He proclaimed to be the will of
God. Verbal witness alone was sterile. "If he does not believe in

his

own truth enough to live it, why should I?" would be a normal - and
quite logical - reaction to Jesus, or to anyone else, proclaiming

the

Gospel by words alone. As philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche framed
it: "You will never get me to believe in a redeemer until you act
redeemed."
> In Quo Vadis, Peter visits Christians who are soon to be

martyred.

A Roman soldier, Vinicius, in love with a Christian woman,
clandestinely places himself among the Christians in order to

locate

her. At that moment Peter begins to speak:
> [I]t's not enough to love just one's own kind; God died a man's
death on the cross, he spilled his blood for all mankind, and even
the pagans are turning toward him now.And it's not enough to love
only those who love and treat you well. Christ forgave his
executioners. He removed all blame from the Jews who turned him

over

to Roman justice to be crucified and from the Roman soldiers who
nailed him to the cross."Only love is more powerful than hatred,"

the

teacher said simply. "Only love can clean the world of evil."
> By the time Peter finishes Vinicius is perplexed and disoriented:
> [T]hese ideas were a completely new way of looking at the world

and

totally rearranged everything known before. He sensed that if he

were

to follow the teaching, he would, for example, have to make a burnt
offering of everything that had made him; he would have to destroy
his thinking, crush all his perceptions, excise every habit, custom
and tradition, erase his whole acquired character and the driving
force of his current nature - burn it all to ashes, consign it to

the

winds, and fill the void with an entirely different soul and a life
on a wholly different plane. A philosophy that taught love for
Parthians, Syrians, Greeks, Egyptians, Gauls and Britons seemed

like

lunacy; love and forgiveness to an enemy and kindness in the place

of

vengeance were simply sheer madness.What he heard seemed totally
divorced from reality as he understood it, and yet it made his
reality so insignificant, it was hardly worth a passing thought.
> Sanctity
> Everyone has heard the pros and cons for following or not

following

Jesus and His Way. There is only one rationale, however, that could
be universally conclusively persuasive - that herein dwells the
quintessence of sanctity, herein lies eternal salvation. And, this

is

precisely what the Christian faith holds. It is Jesus, and only
Jesus, who is the incarnation of absolute Holiness. In all creation
there is not a clearer manifestation of Holiness than Jesus. Jesus

is

what Holiness looks like in time and in eternity because Jesus is

the

Eternally Holy "made flesh." Sanctity then is freely laying down
one's life, moment to moment, in order to love the Father and all

His

sons and daughters, as Jesus loves the Father and all His children.
Sanctity is following Jesus, the incarnation of the Holy One. It is
in loving one another as Jesus loves us (Jn 15:12; 13:34), that a
person fulfills "the entire Law of the Gospel" (Catechism of the
Catholic Church, §1970), that a person
> does the Father's will "on earth as it is in heaven" (§2822).

The

Way of sanctity, the Way of nonviolent Christ-like love of friends
and enemies, and the Way of eternal salvation are all indivisibly

one

and the same Way - the Way of Jesus.
> Heroism
> The Way of sanctity, however, is a heroic Way, because every step
on this Way is a step of love in an atmosphere inundated with the
dark matter of evil. Not a step of love as Caesar defines love, nor
as Aristotle defines love, nor as Hugh Hefner defines love. It is
step of love as Jesus, the God of love (agapé) incarnate, defines
love by His words and deeds. It is a love that has at its heart the
cross - the symbol and the reality of the nonviolent, unlimited,

self-

sacrificial love for all human beings, enemies as well as friends.
Indeed this cross-grounded love is the very power and wisdom of God
to conquer evil and death forever. It is a love that, in the words

of

Vinicius, is "simply sheer madness." Yet it is a love that renders
every other approach to life "so insignificant, it [is] hardly

worth

a passing thought."
> In The Brothers Karamazov, Father Zossima, Dostoevsky's paramount
example of what it means to be a Christian, says that Christ-like
love "in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in
dreams." To voluntarily enter the dynamic of Christ-like love for
others, friends and enemies, is supreme heroism. It is the heroism

of

the cross. It is, as the song says, being "willing to march into

hell

for a heavenly cause" - and to march there, or into any lesser
battle, with the cross of Christ-like love as one's solitary

weapon.

It is risking responding - to hurt, hate, cruelty, insult, shame,
calumny, fear, violence, injustice and even the very threat of

death -

exclusively with that love made visible by Jesus. It is abandoning
oneself to Christ by abandoning all means that are inconsistent

with

the means of Christ. It is bearing the "unbearable burden" of the
cross of limitless, nonviolent, self-sacrificial Christ-like love

for

both friends and enemies every
> second of every day in common affairs and in crisis moments.

Why?

Because Holy Love Itself has asked that it be done for the

salvation

of the world. To commit one's life to this cross-based love - as
opposed to a violent, partisan sword-based love with the other as

the

primary object of sacrifice - in a world saturated in evil, takes
great boldness and courage, great faith and trust. It takes genuine
heroism. But to choose to live in this Way is to imitate God, to
unite with the Holy, to literally participate in the very Life of

the

Nonviolent Trinity whose love for each and all is infinite and
everlasting.
> Sanctity's Fragrance or the Harlot's Perfume
> Christ-like love can be very costly but, expensive or not, it is
the power of God given to the Church. Such love has no more need of
social status, coercive power, connections in high places,

prestige,

badges of distinction, money, intrigue or prerogative, than a rose
has any need to give a sermon to attract people. When a Church or

its

leaders feel that they need social status, coercive power, etc., to
draw or hold people, perhaps what is really needed is an

examination

of conscience and consciousness to determine why the attracting
fragrance is no longer being emitted from the rose, or what is

being

done that is interfering with people being captivated by it. Human
beings will flee from the suffocating smells emanating from the
perfumes that the perpetually decaying kingdoms of the world offer

as

temporary means for masking the unendurable stench of evil and

death,

if alternatively the ambrosia of Christ-like love is made present

by

the Church. Why? Because human beings
> are made by Christ-like love, in the image of Christ-like love

and

for Christ-like love. Christ-likeness is what it means to be human.
Christ-like love, the love intrinsic to the Eternal Logos
(Word) "through whom all things were made," is--must be--the

fullness

of life in time and in eternity. Nothing could be more inviting and
appealing to a human being than that from which the universe is

made,

than that in which the soul participates, than that for which he or
she never-endingly longs, namely, to know they are eternally loved

by

the Source of all.
> The historically discredited Christian modus operandi of
ceaselessly concocting sermons, theologies and apologetics that
attempt to by-pass the Divine agapéic rose of Christ-like love, by
imbuing the sulfur-based perfumes of the kingdoms of the world with
artificial eternal significance and Gospel-standing, is tantamount

to

an erotic harlot continually pouring new perfumes over old perfumes
which have begun to reek. It is just more of the same old unheroic,
spiritually unproductive, "gong booming, cymbal clashing"
Christianity (1 Co 13:1). It is a Christianity that leaves the

course

of everyday life, and history in general, as pagan as ever - if
perhaps, slightly less noticeable for a while. If the opportunity

is

made available by the Church, human beings will gracefully and
naturally gravitate to a Community incarnationally committed to the
Christ-like love of all people, friends and enemies - regardless of
the cost or the required heroism involved. This will occur
> because a rose-scented spiritual and moral atmosphere would be
intuited by the immortal soul to be heaven on earth, even if the

body

were nailed to a cross. Vinicius grasped this instantly.
> Benign Concern
> Religious elites who commerce in the scents of the kingdoms of

the

world will, with a display of benign concern, often demeaningly
insist that "little people," "ordinary Christians" are not up to

the

heroic struggle entailed in trying to love friends and enemies as
Jesus does. "The `Sermon on the Mount' and the `Sermon of the

Cross'

are too much for them," they say. "Let those in the pews be content
with venerating crosses of wood and metal as holy object with only
metaphysical meaning - but with no content in regards to the moral
will of God." To which I respond: Tell that to the thousands
of "little people" whose martyred bodies lie in the catacombs of
Rome! Tell that to the "ordinary Christians" in the holding cells
beneath the Circus Maximus in the days of Nero or two hundred years
later in the days of Diocletian. In the Gospels it is precisely
the "little people" that Jesus spends most of His time with and to
whom He most often issued His invitation to
> "Follow Me"--and who follow him. It is the religious elites in

the

Gospels who refused to take Him at His word and who work like the
devil to prevent "ordinary people" from so doing--and from

following

Him.
> Systematically bracketing out from one's proclamation of the

Gospel

selected teachings of Jesus concerning the Will and Way of God,
because the "little people" in general or "ordinary Christians" in
particular are not up to living them, or would rebel against them,

is

a temptation from the Evil One that must be resisted. It must be
resisted with particular vigor especially by those who have

accepted

a position of Church leadership with its explicit commission from
Jesus to "teach them to obey all that I have commanded you" (Mt
28:20). Pastorally figuring-out how a teaching of Jesus should best
be presented in order to elicit comprehension of it and commitment

to

it is one thing. Pre-judging whether Christians can or cannot live
fully a life of Christ-like love - "all that I have commanded you" -

with the help of the grace of God, and employing this analysis to
validate withholding or muting a teaching of Jesus is quite

another.

The former task Jesus commits to the
> leaders of the His Church. The latter task Jesus allots to no

one

in His Church. With the power of the Holy Spirit involved, choosing
the path of Christ-like love, which from the outside may appear
impossibly heroic, can from the inside be experienced as necessary
and as natural as breathing. St. Peter on Pentecost being the

first,

but by no means last, example of this.
> Heroic Christic love, then, is not auto-salvation, as it does not
depend on its own strength to conquer the satanic, like a nation
would rely on its organizations of violence to save itself from its
political, economic, cultural, ethnic or religious enemies. It is

the

power of the Holy Spirit of the Risen Jesus Christ that makes it

both

desirable and possible to overpower in a Christ-like Way the anti-
Gospel currents - psychological, emotional, cognitive and

spiritual -

that the kingdoms of the world have set in motion in us and in our
lifeworld long before we were aware of their presence. But, heroic

or

unheroic, perseverance in Christ-like love and sanctity must be and
can be the daily and lifetime commitment of the Christian, even if

he

or she is just a "little flower" in a forest of giant theological

and

ecclesiastical redwoods.
> This is all possible because the Christian rests secure in the
faith, that regardless of how dreadful, fearful or hopeless life

may

seem to be in its entirety or in a particular hour, God - whether
called upon or not - is encompassing each one and all as a prodigal
Father embraces a beloved son or daughter. Therefore, regardless of
projected fearful outcomes, the Christian can venture to stay-the-
course in trying to love as Jesus loves, in trying to be holy as
Christ is holy, because he or she is certain of the Good News
that "nothing can separate us from the love of God made visible in
Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rm 8:31-39). Trust in Abba's total love and
protection, as Jesus trusted in Abba's total love and protection,

is

where the Christian's complete security resides. He or she knows,
with invincible faith and unshakable hope, that the Father will
protect him or her as totally as He protected Jesus, regardless of
how fragile or vulnerable he or she feels at the
> moment. How else could martyrdom in the Spirit of the Nonviolent
Jesus and in the model of the Protomartyr St. Stephen be either
possible or sane two thousand years ago - or today?
> You've nothing to Fear
> Let us return for an instant to Quo Vadis. It is now only minutes
before the Christians are to be herded into the arena of horror.
Sobs, silence, and desperation alternately punctuate the air. An
anguished widow pleads to God, "Give my son back to me, O Lord." A
Christian father repeats and repeats, "The hangmen raped my little
daughters and Christ let it happen." For another Christian soon to
die, "the hair lifted on his head in terror" when he thought, "What
if Caesar of Rome was mightier than Jesus of Nazareth?" Peter

quietly

sits praying among the tormented faithful. Then he begins speaking,
so low at the outset that hardly anyone hears him:
> I tell you in Christ's name you've nothing to fear! Life waits

for

you, not death. Joy without end, not torments. Song waits, not

tears

and moaning..
> "I tell you as God's apostle, widow, that your son won't die but
will be born in glory to a new life, and you will be together. I

tell

you, father, whose innocent daughters they've soiled, they'll be as
unblemished as the lilies of Hebron when you meet again. I say in
Christ's name to all you mothers who'll be torn away from your
orphaned children, all you who'll lose your fathers, all who cry

for

pity, all who'll witness the death of those they love, all who are
sick at heart, unfortunate and fearful, and I say again to you who
must die: You will wake as if from a dream into eternal light, and
the Son of God will shine in your night."
> Secularization
> Of all the dangers to the integrity of the Petrine ministry, the
episcopal ministry, presbyteral ministry, indeed to the

institutional

Church itself, the greatest is secularization (Latin: saecularis -
worldly, temporal, as opposed to eternal). By secularization is

meant

the adoption by the Church, by its leadership and/or its

membership,

of the values, attitudes, beliefs, powers, needs, means, and goals

of

a secular society, which values, attitudes, beliefs, powers, needs,
means, and goals are hostile to, obfuscate, or are dismissive of

that

Christ-like love which is the power of God given to the Church to
lead people along the Way to an eternally-graced union with Him.
> The secularization of the institutional Church, its leadership

and

laity, is the axial betrayal, which leaders and members must

confront

and confess today, if the Church is to be renewed and revitalized -
if a new time of authentic evangelization is to commence.
Secularization is a process not decades old but centuries old. It

is

no longer a creeping aberration in the institutional Churches; it

is

a galloping normality throughout the Churches. It has also become,
due to literacy and mass media, more and more noticeable,
scandalizing and off-putting to more and more people - Christians

and

non-Christians alike.
> The long-standing pretense can no longer be spiritually sustained
that secularization has served the Church well, or even adequately.
Can anyone look candidly at the twentieth century Church in any of
its institutional forms - Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or
Evangelical - and honestly maintain that the pastoral leadership of
these Churches or the Churches themselves have been equal to the
attacks that evil has mounted against Christianity and humanity
during the last hundred years?
> From 1914-1918, Church leaders in nation after nation ratify as
conforming to the will of God as revealed by Jesus the diabolical
monstrosity of World War I. This malignancy metastasizes in the

same

leaders or their successors, thereby ensuring that they would
rationally, theologically and canonically be able to place the
satanic abomination of 1939 to 1945 under Divine patronage. Now

that

this Century of Cain is over, it is known that Christians killed

more

people in war in the twentieth century than in all the centuries
since the time of Constantine (d. 337). Christians also slaughter
other Christians in unprecedented numbers during the last one

hundred

years. Practically all of this homicide is done with the various
Churches blessing and morally justifying those Christians who are
doing it. But, in no way is twentieth century Christianity out of
step with the Christianity of the last seventeen centuries. Volumes
of evidence from the recent and the remote past - for
> example, the historical fact that more Christians are killed by
the Roman Empire after it becomes a "Christian state" than when it

is

a pagan state - can be adduced to verify that the long-term results
of secularizing the Church, beneath the veneer of public piety and
religiosity, has been a spiritual and pastoral calamity.
> When Rome became Christian in name, the Church became Roman in
deed. The persecuted became the persecutors. In operational

practice

the Lamb became the Imperial Lion with all the inversion of values,
attitudes and morality that the reversal of those symbols implies.
And, like any lion that has once tasted the rewards of power and

ease

of life that come with living off human bloodletting, its appetite
for these only increases. This appetite has not been satiated to

this

day - although it does wax and wane according to the political
climate of the hour. Secularized Christianity with its ethics for

the

baptized of justified homicide, violence, dominative power, fear,
enmity, retaliation and revenge in pursuit of earthly agendas has
literally turned the cross of Christ upside down and made it into

the

sword of Caesar. Instead of the Church "turning the whole world
upside down" (Ac 17:6-7) by fidelity to the Way of Jesus, the world
has turned the Church of Jesus Christ
> upside down by secularizing it to ways and means that are self-
evidently at war with the ways and means of Jesus.
> Unless the past has been perfect, the future should be different
from the past. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, Colorado,
writes, "Much of the western world may still appear to be

Christian,

but it is not - at least not in any real sense of the
word `Christian.'" No reasonable observer of the scene could
disagree, if by "Christian" is meant following the Jesus of the
Gospels and His Way. But, who is responsible for this situation?
Evasion of truth is preposterous when eternal salvation is at

stake.

The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are in accord on this: A sin

left

unnamed regenerates itself incessantly and with ever-greater
intensity. Denial only assures a future that mirrors the past. So

it

must be stated unambiguously: responsibility for the secularization
of the Church lies primarily on the heads of Church leaders, and
those who piously strive to be Church leaders in Churches that
justify their own secularized ethos. Well, the "Ninth Hour" is upon
the
> leadership of the Church. The cock crows! Jesus Christ is
looking "straight at" (Lk 22:61) those He has chosen (Mk 3:13-14)

and

who have denied Him. (For to deny the truth of His Way, or to
substitute another way for His Way because one believes His Way is
unrealistic, is to deny Him.) His Eyes are asking his betraying
Church and its leaders: "Are you now sincerely willing to follow Me
and enter once again upon the Way of the Nonviolent Messiah - and

to

bring with you those "little ones" I have placed in your care?"
> Survival
> The taproot of the spiritually toxic problem of secularization is
veiled but not entirely concealed. Worldly leaders are concerned

with

the survival of their societies or institutions. Secular leaders

are

denounced or deposed if they fail in promoting the survival of

their

group and its interests. If there is one thing, however, the Church
never needs to worry about, it is the survival of the Church.
Temporal survival, which is the primary concern in the realm of the
secular, is a non-concern in the realm of the Church. The Church
survives, period. It survives not by superb administration,

financial

acuity, clever public relations gimmicks, coercion, violence,
catering to elites, secrecy, fear, nor by anything else human

beings

do to assure the survival of worldly enterprises. The Church

survives

only because of this - Christ guarantees its survival. Jesus Christ
has never left the Church. He still lives in the Church and

exercises

His headship. There is never any need
> for anyone, anywhere, or at any time, to be concerned about the
Church's survival. In fact, a billion Christians going to war "for
the survival of the Church" would be an ignominious spiritual

failure

in the guise of a brilliant worldly success. It would be unbelief
masquerading as heroic fidelity. It would be false witness. It

would

be utterly irrelevant to the Church's survival. It would be
secularization befogging the Christian mind and suppressing the
Christian heart.
> "My business is fidelity; God's business is success," explains
Mother Theresa. This truth has to be deep in the heart of Jesus in
Gethsemane, as well as deep in the heart of St. Peter and those
Christians to whom Peter speaks on their way to the Circus Maximus.
Likewise, it must reside deep in the heart of anyone who wishes to

be

a faithful Christian - most especially in the heart of anyone who
wishes to be a faithful Christian leader. Note that Mother Theresa
did not say: "My business is success; God's business is fidelity!"
> The Church requires not one "pragmatic" sin, not one inch of
departure from the Way of Jesus, not one act that is not an act of
Christ-like love in order to successfully complete the mission

Jesus

committed to it. The power the Church has been given to fulfill Her
mission is the power of God, and that, Jesus tells us, is the power
of love as He makes it visible in time and space. Concern for an
institutional Church's material dimensions is appropriate provided

it

stays within the parameter of Christ-like love. Toward that which

is

totally perishable inside or outside the Church, Church leaders and
Church members owe no duty beyond that which can be executed with
Christ-like love. If gaining possession, continuing possession or

re-

possession of some worldly thing - or even the whole world - cannot
be achieve within the requirement of Christ-like love, then it

cannot

be achieved, and the Church or Christian therefore has no earthly
need of it in order to accomplish
> fully their divine assignment within the mystery of salvation in
Jesus Christ.
> "One act of pure love," teaches St. John of the Cross, "is more
valuable to the Church than all other acts combined." St. Paul

would

concur (1 Cor 13). If a person wants access to a power superior to
this, or to a power antagonistic to this, then he or she should not
be a Christian, let alone a Christian leader. If a Christian leader
or a Christian has succumbed to the temptation to employ the anti-
Gospel powers of the kingdoms of the world (Lk 4:5-7; Mt 4:8,9) to
achieve some goal, then the "Ninth Hour" is upon him or her. If he

or

she will only have the courage of St. Peter the Betrayer, to look
into the Eyes that are looking "straight at" him or her, to look
straight into those Eyes and see the Infinitely Benign Eternal

Being

within them, then the power and the wisdom of the Nonviolent Jesus
will be made clear - as will His invitation to follow Him and His
Way. St. Edith Stein presents the matter in these compelling words:
> Do you see the eyes of the Crucified looking at you with a
searching gaze? They are asking you a question: Are you, in all
seriousness, ready to enter once again into a covenant with the
Crucified? What are you going to answer?
> The Nonviolent Follower of a Nonviolent Leader
> For a sincere follower of Jesus, the question is always "Quo

Vadis,

Domine?", recognizing full well that wherever Jesus is going,

whether

it be Golgotha or Rome, He is going there without the weapons of

the

kingdoms of the world: no swords, no guns, no halberds, no cruelty,
no enmity, no deceit, no worldly power. Unlike the founders of

other

religions, He is always armed solely with love and absolute trust

in

the unfailing protection of the Father almighty, and never with
carnal weapons. Only a person who is interested in so following
Jesus, and hence in undertaking the mostly unseen, but genuinely
heroic, daily martyrdom of innumerable micro-acts of nonviolent
Christ-like love toward all who cross his or her path - friends and
enemies - should have any interest in becoming a Christian leader

or

a Christian or a catechumen.
> Such a commitment by a Christian demands an ongoing "burn it all

to

ashes, consigning it to the winds" abandonment of a secularized,

anti-

Gospel self-understanding. A secularized self-understanding has

been

rigorously neurologically inscribed - cognitively and affectively -
by a personal and social history of religious as well secular
legitimization over decades of life. To turn away from it and daily
pick up the cross of nonviolent Christ-like love toward all is
nothing short of dying to self - the old self that was given to us
without our consent by one or another of the kingdoms of the world
and its religious support group(s). To follow Jesus, as Vinicius
instantly realizes, it is necessary "to make a burnt offering of
everything that had made him." As the Apostle writes:
> I beg you, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, think of
God's mercy, my brothers and sisters, and worship Him, offering

your

living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God. Do not
model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let
your behavior change, modeled by your new mind. This is the only

way

to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that
God wants. (Rm 8:1-3)
> This does not mean, however, that a Christian or Christian leader
is condemned to live chronically on the edge of sadness because he

or

she, like Jesus, renounces traveling down the spiritual and moral
culs-de-sac to salvation offered by the totally perishable kingdoms
of the world - culs-de-sac offered as if they were royal roads to
eternal significance and glory, e.g., the ways of violence, enmity
and dominative power. On the contrary the daily sacrifice of the

old

and deeply nurtured self-understandings and value systems on the
altar of agape, on the cross of nonviolent love toward all, is made
with magnanimity. Why? Simply because it is required in order to
fulfill one's Christian responsibility to God and to humanity, as
well as, to the destiny for which he or she was drawn out of
nothingness for a time. It is the concrete deed of Christlike love,
as noted earlier, that is the sine qua non for proclaiming the

Gospel

with authority and credibility to an unbelieving
> and fear-ladened world of wounded and wounding human beings. An
ever more desperate humanity lives imprisoned in what appears to it
to be an irredeemably meaningless, evil, and mortal existence. It
lives in this unspeakable torment, longing in every cell for the

only

good news that is really Good News: that God is Abba, that "Jesus

of

Nazareth who was crucified is risen" and that the Way of Eternal

Life

has been revealed and opened for all. To proclaim this

unsurpassable

Good News with Christ-like authority and credibility is how a
follower of Jesus meets his or her most cherished goal - unreserved
co-operation with Him whose supreme desire is to ensure that all

who

must die "will wake as if from a dream into eternal light, and the
Son of God will shine in their night" (Jn 12:31; 1 Tm 2:4; Ti 2:11).
> What a love! What a life! What a grace to be chosen by Christ-God
for such a vocation! What a privilege to be given the opportunity

to

lead and assist others in fulfilling their calling from the Holy

One.

What a tragedy to mis-use, mis-direct and abuse such a gift in

order

to religiously legitimatize as the Way of Jesus secular values,
powers, spirits and behaviors that are eternal dead-ends for one

and

all - values, powers, spirits and behaviors that are not only
inconsistent with the Way of Jesus but that are hostile to the Way

of

Jesus and His salvific mission.
> Quo Vadis?
> January 6, 2007
> Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy is a priest of the Eastern Rite
(Byzantine-Melkite) of the Catholic Church. Formerly a lawyer and a
university educator, he is the founder and the original director of
The Program for the Study and Practice of Nonviolent Conflict
Resolution at the University of Notre Dame. He is also co-founder,
along with Dorothy Day and others of Pax Christi-USA. He has
conducted retreats and spoken at conferences throughout the world

on

the issue of the relationship of faith and violence and the
nonviolence of the Jesus. He was the keynote speaker at the

Lorraine

Motel in Memphis, Tennessee for the 25th anniversary memorial of

the

assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. there. He is author

of

several books, including these: All Things Flee Thee because Thou
Fleest Me: A Cry to the Churches and their Leaders to Return to the
Nonviolent Jesus and His Nonviolent Way; Christian Just War Theory:
The logic of Deceit; August 9: The Stations of the Cross of
> Nonviolent Love. He has also authored innumerable articles on

the

subject of violence, religion and the nonviolent love of friends

and

enemies taught by Jesus by word and deed. His audio/video series,
BEHOLD THE LAMB, is almost universally considered to be the most
spiritually profound presentation on the matter of Gospel

Nonviolent

Love available in this format. BEHOLD THE LAMB is now available on
mp3CD through his website, either at the cost of $5.00 for a disc

or

it can be acquired directly by an mp3 downloaded from the website

for

no cost. Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy was nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize for his life's work on behalf of peace within people

and