Richard Rohr and Prophetic Nonviolence

I appreciate Eleanor Mullendore sharing the writings of Fr. Richard Rohr from the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Drawing from his own Franciscan heritage and other wisdom traditions, Richard Rohr reframes neglected or misunderstood teachings to reveal the foundations of contemplative Christianity and the universe itself: God as loving relationship.

Each week of meditations builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time! Watch a short introduction to the theme “From the Bottom Up” (8-minute video)—click here. If you’ve missed earlier messages, explore the online archive.

Practice: Contemplative, Active, and Prophetic Nonviolence

by Richard Rohr

Prophets are nonpartisan and thus their work never ends. Throughout history, they have spoken truth to power, regardless of the ruler’s political persuasion. They are able to lovingly criticize their own group, recognizing their own complicity in a violent system.

We still need courageous, humble people to speak up for justice and peace. For Christians, John Dear says, the great question is: “How do we follow the nonviolent Jesus more faithfully in this culture of violence and war?” He offers three basic steps: contemplative, active, and prophetic nonviolence.

More than ever . . . we have to dig deeper spiritual roots and that means practicing contemplative nonviolence. We have to take time for quiet meditation with the God of peace every day. . . . It’s hard to change the world; we can barely change ourselves. But God can change us and the world if we allow the God of peace to touch us, disarm us, heal us, and send us out as instruments of God’s peace. . . .

Second, we need to be public activists of nonviolence. It does not serve anyone to sit around and complain . . . about the Republicans or the Democrats. We need to take action, and not just private action but public action for justice, disarmament, and peace.

[Now] is a good time to reflect on our public lives as active peacemakers, to investigate the quality of our loving kindness and peaceableness behind our activism, as well as the boldness and derring-do of our work…

Third, we need to be prophets of nonviolence, that is, we need to speak out publicly . . . and lend our voice to the grassroots movement calling for an end to war, racism, nuclear weapons, poverty, corporate greed and environmental destruction, and for a new culture of peace and nonviolence.

In effect, like the nonviolent Jesus, we are announcing the coming of God’s reign of peace and nonviolence, here and now, right in our midst, despite what we hear on TV or Twitter. . . .

Don’t be afraid to be bold! Let’s not give in to fear, but practice fearlessness and herald a bold vision of a new culture of peace and nonviolence.

This is what it means for me to follow the nonviolent [and prophetic] Jesus these days. We may get pushed back, dismissed, ostracized, or harassed for our stand, but he endured far worse and remained meticulously nonviolent, loving and faithful. He set the example, and we want to follow him.

Today begins a week-long Campaign Nonviolence organized by John Dear and Pace e Bene, a nonprofit founded by the Franciscan Friars of California. You can find actions near you and take the Campaign Nonviolence Pledge at

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s