Daniel Berrigan once said to us
About trying to lead a nonviolent life:
“We do it because it’s the right thing to do
Not because it’s going to get us anywhere”
How deeply this cuts us!
Is the Jesuit priest crazy?
Because in these United States of Amnesia
We so want to get somewhere
We want success!
We want to know that we made a difference!
We want others to know we made a difference
(Is anyone keeping track of all our service hours?)
We wouldn’t mind beefing up
Our individual and collective CVs
We want to stop the war!
Bring the troops home now!
(Some in the peace movement
Claim their efficacy
In ending the war in Vietnam
But don’t mention the Vietnamese resistance of thirty years)
We used to crave media attention
Now we get validation via social media
We don’t want to be losers
We want to be a force to be reckoned with
Berrigan (like Gandhi)
In and out of jail
Visiting the poor who have cancer
Befriending the people with AIDS
Comforting the afflicted
Afflicting the comfortable
Renouncing the fruits of action
Giving everything to the work at hand
Daniel Berrigan; Maryknoll, NY; photo by Mev Puleo