by John Amidon
Fr. Dan Berrigan is still an unfailing source of inspiration and encouragement for me. When I find myself discouraged I often think of one of his quotes "the difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything". For many years, I wrote to Fr. Dan inviting him to speak at the Kateri Peace Conference. I knew it was unlikely he would come as he was quite elderly then, still I enjoyed writing him a note and simply saying hello to someone I so esteemed. Sadly Fr. Dan did not speak at the Kateri Peace Conference however his life and his work were strong influences in my life and contributed to the beginning the Kateri Peace Conference and subsequently to the publication of Bending the Arc: Striving for Peace and Justice in the Age of Endless War, this past August.
The book is a result of the values held by our many authors and the work they have accomplished including Ann Wright, David Swanson, Kathy Kelly, Medea Benjamin and Jim Jennings to mention some. It is indirectly a love story, as both the conference and the book as well as peace activism itself are labors of love dedicated to peace and justice and nonviolence, for the good of all.
The essays contributed share intimate insights into the lives of 17 activists, their work and their thinking. Each chapter suggests a strong inner drive and affirmation of the good, coupled with a deep conviction that peace and life affirming change are possible and that doing something is always worth doing, even under the most difficult and seemingly impossible circumstances.
We so truly desire a world free from violence. We envision a world without endless war and imbued with the spirit of kindness and compassion coupled by the effort to help our neighbors live lives filled with security, dignity, decent housing and good food to eat, health care and education. We also cherish a world which encourages us to dream of love and beauty and to create and express these dreams that embrace and nourish all people.
BENDING THE ARC is born from these dreams. We are hopeful that it will help cultivate and nourish all who desire these cherished goals which can only be realized when peace and justice and a world without war prevail.
Please do consider purchasing this book as a source of inspiration, enjoyment, edification, for yourself, a friend or perhaps your library or faith community.
It is currently on sale by SUNY Press. Thank you for considering BENDING THE ARC as a gifting choice.
PS The Dan Berrigan quote has been turned into a beautiful chant by vocalist Sheri Bauer. Please do take a moment to listen.