Daily Meditation for January 14, 2010

by Josue Behnen, OSB

January 15 is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of America’s greatest advocates of peace by nonviolence. The concept of nonviolence means caring in one’s heart for everyone, even those one strongly disagrees with. Love of the enemy is a fundamental concept of philosophical nonviolence with a goal to create love and understanding between all. It presupposes the existence of compassion toward one’s adversary. Separating deeds from the doers allows for the possibility of the doers to change their behavior and their beliefs. King said, “Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. We will wear [the enemy] down by our capacity to suffer.” All great religions advocate compassion.