“A pacifist between wars is like a vegetarian between meals.”
“Surely your longings and feelings arise from the God who created you. They were created in order to be filled, not crushed. Surely we shall find peace not by eliminating desire, but by finding its fulfillment and satisfaction in the One who created it.”
“Ah, my dear friend, cheer up… After all, we have peace! And because there is peace, the occupiers can’t behave so abominably anymore. All right, we’re not free. But we are used to that, Mr. Kujawski. After all we were both born into slavery, and we will die in it. Oh yes, at first they’ll exploit us ruthlessly. Fourteen hours of slave labor a day. A bowl of watery soup. Whippings, beatings… But that will pass with time. Because there is peace, they won’t have a chance to get any new slaves. They’ll have to take good care of those have already. Cheer up, dear Mr. Kujawski… […] Arbeit macht frei, work makes man free, and it makes him especially so in the sunshine of European peace. We will lack only one thing. Only one! The right of dissent. The right to say out loud that we want a free and independent Poland, that we want to brush our teeth and go on holiday in our own way, conceive children and work our own way, think in our own way, live and die. This is the one thing you will find missing in the sunshine of European peace, which you, my friend, hold to be the highest good.”
“As participants in a mobile culture, our default is to move. God embraces our broken world, and I have no doubt that God can use our movement for good. But I am convinced that we lose something essential to our existence as creatures if we do not recognize our fundamental need for stability. Trees can be transplanted, often with magnificent results. But their default is to stay.”
“Si percibo en otra persona nada más que lo superficial, percibo principalmente las diferencias, lo que nos separa. Si penetro hasta el núcleo, percibo nuestra identidad, el hecho de nuestra hermandad.”
“First, people should open their eyes to see structural sin, which is the very existence of a First and Third World. As long as there’s a First World, there won’t be peace because there won’t be justice or sharing. (Pedro Casaldaliga, p. 243)”
“Wie ich heimschritt bemerkte ich mit einemmal vor mir meinen eigenen Schatten so wie ich den Schatten des anderen Krieges hinter dem jetzigen sah. Er ist durch all diese Zeit nicht mehr von mir gewichen dieser Schatten er überhing jeden meiner Gedanken bei Tag und bei Nacht vielleicht liegt sein dunkler Umriß auch auf manchen Blättern dieses Buches. Aber jeder Schatten ist im letzten doch auch Kind des Lichts und nur wer Helles und Dunkles Krieg und Frieden Aufstieg und Niedergang erfahren nur der hat wahrhaft gelebt.”
“The positive vibrations of unregulated joy, peace, happiness and tranquility is freedom.”
“If water won’t smother the blaze
Father, take my tears and bestow them on the fire
see if the fires will wither.”
“Listen to your hearts, parents! You are the expert when it comes to knowing your child. I love the Scripture that says we are to let the peace of God rule in our hearts…In other words, peace in your heart is to be like an umpire calling the shots. When in doubt–DON’T!”
“I walked with my eyes on the path, but out of the corners of them I saw a man hiding behind an olive tree. He did not move as we approached, but I fell that he was watching us. As soon as we had passed I heard a scamper. Wilson, like a hunted animal, had made for safely. That was the last I ever saw of him.
He died last year. He had endured that life for six years. He was found one morning on the mountainside lying quite peacefully as though he had died in his sleep. From where he lay he had been able to see those two great rocks called the Faraglioni which stand out of the sea. It was full moon and he must have gone to see them by moonlight. Perhaps he died of the beauty of that sight…
—The Lotus Eater”
W. Somerset Maugham
“I have brought peace to this land, and security,” he began.
“And what of your soul, when you use the cleverness of argument to cloak such acts? Do you think that the peace of a thousand cancels out the unjust death of one single person? It may be desirable, it may win you praise from those who have happily survived you and prospered from your deeds, but you have committed ignoble acts, and have been too proud to own them. I have waited patiently here, hoping that you would come to me, for if you understood, then some of your acts would be mitigated. But instead you send me this manuscript, proud, magisterial, and demonstrating only that you have understood nothing at all.”
“I returned to public life on your advice, madam,” he said stiffly.
“Yes; I advised it. I said if learning must die it should do so with a friend by its bedside. Not an assassin.”
“I have taken all my good deeds and all my bad deeds, and cast them … in a heap before the Lord, and fled from both, and betaken myself to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in him I have sweet peace!”
“Why had peace given place so soon to turmoil? To two separate solitudes? Because peace had been without thought? Without…integrity?
How could she have felt like that without love?
Was love essential?
Did it even exist – the love she had dreamed of her life?
If it did, it was too late now for her to find it.
Must she make do with this instead, then?
Pleasure without love?”
“We are thankful to come here for rest, sir,” said Jenny. “You see, you don’t know what the rest of this place is to us; does he, Lizzie? It’s the quiet, and the air.”
“The quiet!” repeated Fledgeby, with a contemptuous turn of his head towards the City’s roar. “And the air!” with a “Poof!” at the smoke.
“Ah!” said Jenny. “But it’s so high. And you see the clouds rushing on above the narrow streets, not minding them, and you see the golden arrows pointing at the mountains in the sky from which the wind comes, and you feel as if you were dead.”
The little creature looked above her, holding up her slight transparent hand.
“How do you feel when you are dead?” asked Fledgeby, much perplexed.
“Oh, so tranquil!” cried the little creature, smiling. “Oh, so peaceful and so thankful! And you hear the people who are alive, crying, and working, and calling to one another down in the close dark streets, and you seem to pity them so! And such a chain has fallen from you, and such a strange good sorrowful happiness comes upon you!”
Her eyes fell on the old man, who, with his hands folded, quietly looked on.
“Why it was only just now,” said the little creature, pointing at him, “that I fancied I saw him come out of his grave! He toiled out at that low door so bent and worn, and then he took his breath and stood upright, and looked all round him at the sky, and the wind blew upon him, and his life down in the dark was over!—Till he was called back to life,” she added, looking round at Fledgeby with that lower look of sharpness. “Why did you call him back?”
“He was long enough coming, anyhow,” grumbled Fledgeby.
“But you are not dead, you know,” said Jenny Wren. “Get down to life!”
Mr Fledgeby seemed to think it rather a good suggestion, and with a nod turned round. As Riah followed to attend him down the stairs, the little creature called out to the Jew in a silvery tone, “Don’t be long gone. Come back, and be dead!” And still as they went down they heard the little sweet voice, more and more faintly, half calling and half singing, “Come back and be dead, Come back and be dead!”
“As we send our armsmen and sailors away to fight and die together; let there be peace between us. If there cannot be peace in the world, at least let it be welcome here.”
“…because it is the privilige and the curse of midnight’s children to be both masters and victims of their times, to forsake privacy and be sucked into the annihilating whirlpool of the multitudes, and to be unable to live or die in peace.”
“I strongly feel that it is only when there is a deep understanding of one’s own religious beliefs and commitments that progress can be made in achieving true understanding and respect for the religious values and beliefs of others. Engaging in interfaith dialogue does not in any way mean undermining one’s own faith or religious tradition. Indeed, interfaith dialogue is constructive only when people become firmly grounded in their own religious traditions and through that process gain a willingness to listen and respect the beliefs of other religions. (by Cilliers, Ch. 3, p. 48-49)”
David R. Smock
“If the true God is not allowed to lead our lives society will continue to immerse itself into bad decision, poor planning and selfishness on all levels. This will lead to a world-wide revolution that will fuel more meaningless wars, injustice, horrific crimes, lost of life and what really matters the most, hope for the future. A love that could warms hearts. A trust that would never betray a brother or a friend. A peace that the world has never seen.”
“Of course there is no veneer, the process is one of growth, and primitiveness and civilization are degrees of the same thing. If civilization has an opposite, it is war.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
“Militarism has been by far the commonest cause of the breakdown of civilizations. The single art of war makes progress at the expense of all the arts of peace.”
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
“You do not mean there is danger of peace?”, cried Jack.”
“The turmoil and dislocations confronting present-day society will not be solved until both the scientific and religious genius of the human race are fully utilized.”
Baha’i International Community
“Pretending that the world’s religions are the same does not make our world safer. Like all forms of ignorance, it makes our world more dangerous. What we need on this furiously religious planet is a realistic view of where religious rivals clash and where they can cooperate.”
Stephen R. Prothero
“And so we know the satisfaction of hate. We know the sweet joy of revenge. How it feels good to get even. Oh, that was a nice idea Jesus had. That was a pretty notion, but you can’t love people who do evil. It’s neither sensible or practical. It’s not wise to the world to love people who do such terrible wrong. There is no way on earth we can love our enemies. They’ll only do wickedness and hatefulness again. And worse, they’ll think they can get away with this wickedness and evil, because they’ll think we’re weak and afraid. What would the world come to?
But I want to say to you here on this hot July morning in Holt, what if Jesus wasn’t kidding? What if he wasn’t talking about some never-never land? What if he really did mean what he said two thousand years ago? What if he was thoroughly wise to the world and knew firsthand cruelty and wickedness and evil and hate? Knew it all so well from personal firsthand experience? And what if in spite of all that he knew, he still said love your enemies? Turn your cheek. Pray for those who misuse you. What if he meant every word of what he said? What then would the world come to?
And what if we tried it? What if we said to our enemies: We are the most powerful nation on earth. We can destroy you. We can kill your children. We can make ruins of your cities and villages and when we’re finished you won’t even know how to look for the places where they used to be. We have the power to take away your water and to scorch your earth, to rob you of the very fundamentals of life. We can change the actual day into actual night. We can do these things to you. And more.
But what if we say, Listen: Instead of any of these, we are going to give willingly and generously to you. We are going to spend the great American national treasure and the will and the human lives that we would have spent on destruction, and instead we are going to turn them all toward creation. We’ll mend your roads and highways, expand your schools, modernize your wells and water supplies, save your ancient artifacts and art and culture, preserve your temples and mosques. In fact, we are going to love you. And again we say, no matter what has gone before, no matter what you’ve done: We are going to love you. We have set our hearts to it. We will treat you like brothers and sisters. We are going to turn our collective national cheek and present it to be stricken a second time, if need be, and offer it to you. Listen, we–
But then he was abruptly halted.”