If you want peace, work for justice. —Pope Paul VI
.. the single biggest obstacle to the church’s mission and vision of peace with justice is the fact of the segregation of the poor/the oppressed/the exploited/the neglected/the stranger from the comfortable/the secure/the satisfied. The result is a divide that convinces the comfortable and secure that all is well and persuades the poor that there is no hope. . .
.. Regardless of what else we do, we must stay connected in some kind of face-to-face way with the persons and the places at risk. . . .
.. The second critical ingredient . . . is justice education. . . . The single most repeated phrase in the Gospels is [what] Jesus uses to describe the vision and focus of his ministry: the Reign of God. . . . This is the reign of
- compassion and
Jesus calls disciples to this vision. Is it fair to say that Jesus did not call disciples to follow him for the purpose of idolizing or honoring him? Rather, the reason to follow him is that he is pointing toward a new possibility—a holy possibility. . . .
.. for us to live as we live in this country, we need to dominate others so that they cannot use the limited resources that we want.
We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. . . . Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. —General Omar Bradley
.. the Pax Romana creates a false peace by sacrificing others. But the peace Jesus speaks of—Pax Christi, the peace of Christ—waits and works for true peace by sacrificing the false self of power, prestige, and possessions. Such peacemaking will never be popular. The follower of Jesus is doomed to minority status.
Jesus next warns us that we will be hated from all sides (see also John 15:18-16:2 and Matthew 10:22). When you’re working outside the system, when you work for peace, you will not be admired inside the system. In fact, you will look dangerous, subversive, and unpatriotic. One thing you cannot call Jesus was a patriot. He was serving a far bigger realm.
.. If you are truly a peacemaker, your very means have to be nonviolent and you have to be consistently pro-life—from womb to tomb. One of the most distressing qualities of many Christians today is that they retain the right to decide when, where, and with whom they will be pro-life peacemakers. If the other can be determined to be wrong, guilty, unworthy, or sinful, the death penalty is somehow supposed to serve justice. That entirely misses the ethical point Jesus makes: We are never the sole arbiters of life or death, because life is created by God and carries the divine image. It is a spiritual seeing, far beyond any ideology of left or right.
.. [We are called to] speak out against every aspect of violence—poverty, war, racism, police brutality, gun violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction—and at the same time call for a new culture of peace. .
Hospitality is the practice that keeps the church from becoming a club, a members-only society. —Diana Butler Bass 
.. description of Emerging Christianity
- Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.
- Affirming people’s potential is more important than reminding them of their brokenness.
- The work of reconciliation should be valued over making judgments.
- Gracious behavior is more important than right belief.
- Inviting questions is more valuable than supplying answers.
- Encouraging the personal search is more important than group uniformity.
- Meeting actual needs is more important than maintaining institutions.
- Peacemaking is more important than power.
- We should care more about love and less about sex.
- Life in this world is more important than the afterlife (eternity is God’s work anyway).
Both Francis and Clare let go of all fear of suffering, all need for power, prestige, and possessions, and the need for their small self to be important. They came to know something essential—who they really were in God and thus who they really were.
.. Francis did not wish for himself or his followers to be priests, to take higher places on the Church’s hierarchical ladder of education, prestige, and power.
These hallmarks of the Secular Franciscan Order (from the formation manual For Up To Now) can be claimed and practiced by anyone:
- Simplicity (A spirituality that is genuine; without pretense)
- Poverty (Love of Gospel poverty develops confidence in the Father and creates internal freedom)
- Humility (The truth of what and who we really are in the eyes of God; freedom from pride and arrogance)
- A genuine sense of minority (The recognition that we are servants, not superior to anyone)
- A complete and active abandonment to God (Trusting in God’s unconditional love)
- Conversion (Daily we begin again the process of changing to be more like Jesus)
- Transformation (What God does for us, when we are open and willing)
- Peacemaking (We are messengers of peace as Francis was)