PRAYER FOR THE FORTY DAY FAST FOR THE TRUTH OF GOSPEL NONVIOLENCE JULY 1-AUGUST 9

For the uniting of all churches in proclaiming the truth of the nonviolent jesus of the gospels and his way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies

Abba, in the name of Jesus we ask you to send the Holy Spirit to gather the Churches together, so that with one heart, one mind and one voice they may proclaim as God’s Way Jesus’ Way of Nonviolent Love of all people—friends and enemies—and thereby teach that
violence is not the Christian way,
violence is not the Holy Way,
violence is not the Gospels’ Way,
violence is not the Apostolic Way, violence is not the Way of Jesus,
violence is not the Way of God,
and thus set Christians free forever from bondage to the unholy, un-catholic, un-apostolic, un-Christlike ways of the false gods and theologies of justified homicidal violence and enmity.
We plead this grace so that the Nonviolent Lamb may be our Lord in deed, as well as, in word and sacrament.
We request this gift so that the Christian Community may be—for afflicted humanity—a faithful witness to Jesus’ Way of overcoming evil.
We implore this healing so that the Church may be an authentic extension in time and space of the Way of the Lamb of God, of the Way of the Nonviolent Jesus, which is the Way to renew the face of the earth.
Amen.

Our Lamb has conquered—let us follow.

An invitation to participate in the ANNUAL FORTY-DAY FAST For the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence July 1-August 9

By Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

“This is the kind (of unclean spirit) that can be driven out only by prayer and fasting.”

Mark 9:29

An Invitation to Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence
    Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the only true God who is Agapé, Unconditional Love, Unending Forgiveness and Everlasting Mercy toward all without exceptions. The person who accurately sees Jesus sees God, for Jesus and God are One. It is the Spirit of this God which is life giving. It is this God in whose image and likeness we are formed. There is no other God. All that is not of the only true God is idolatry and death.
The God of the New Testament, the God who dwells fully in Jesus Christ, the only true God is not a warrior God who will lead people in historical victories over enemies. The Way of Jesus is not the way of violence, retaliation and enmity. The Way of the Jesus of the Gospel is the way of nonviolent love. What Jesus taught by word and deed for times of common affairs, as well as times of crises, is nonviolence, non-retaliation, love of enemy, forgiveness seventy times seven, return of good for evil—mercy. Since God is love and Christ is God, to live in the life of God is to obey Jesus’ new commandment “to love one another as I have loved you.” This means that the Christian—the one who says he or she desires to follow Jesus—commits herself or himself wholeheartedly to following Jesus, who did not use violence and who did not threaten the use of violence, but chose instead—even under the threat of lethal violence—to overcome evil with good. Jesus Christ is the truth of God and nonviolent love of friends and enemies is the truth of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, it must be said clearly, and again and again, that violence is not the Gospels’ Way, violence is not the Christian Way, that violence is not the Apostolic Way, that violence is not the Way of Jesus, that violence is not the Way of God. It must be said clearly, and again and again, that this does not mean that only nuclear war and induced abortion are contrary to the way of Jesus—but all violence and retaliation, even culturally condoned, indeed honored, violence and retaliation, are contrary to the way of Jesus. Therefore an activity that cannot be conducted without violence or an end that cannot be achieved without violence is an activity or an end that cannot be conducted or achieved by the followers of Jesus Christ.

The Churches’ and humanity’s mutiny against mercy must cease. Jesus’ teaching is clear. Christ authorized no one to substitute violence for merciful love toward friends or enemies. As the renowned biblical scholar, Rev. John L. McKenzie, concludes, “If Jesus did not reject any type of violence for any purpose, then we know nothing of Him.

The god, who endorses, supports or commands war is not the God of Christlike mercy. All the ways of God are mercy. In the Incarnation of Mercy in the Nonviolent Jesus, God’s Being, which is from eternity to eternity outside of time and beyond the world, unfolds itself in time and before the world. Mercy is what God is. Mercy is why we are. Mercy is what we need. Mercy is what God wants. Mercy is the supreme attribute of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Way of Christlike Mercy, not the way of violence, is the path of our pilgrimage to the Absolute.

Yet, since the fourth century most Christians have not proclaimed that violence is not the Christian Way, that violence is not the Catholic Way, that violence is not the Apostolic Way, that violence is not the Way of Jesus. In fact, during the last 1700 years, at one time or another, Christians have justified as consistent with the Way of Jesus participation in such activities as war, capital punishment, torture, the burning of heretics, witches and homosexuals, colonialism, violent enmity-creating nationalism, violent revolution, abortion, genocide, wife-beating, child-beating, torture, terrorism, etc. The spiritually symbolic low point of this false proclamation of the Gospel—this incarnational heresy— occurs on August 9 in the years of Our Lord during World War II.

On that day of Our Lord in 1942 Christians in Auschwitz, Poland—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following the Way of Jesus when they destroyed Edith Stein, Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, in a gas chamber. On that day of Our Lord in 1943 Christians in Berlin, Germany—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following Jesus when they beheaded Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, a Christian who refused to join Hitler’s military. On that day of Our Lord in 1945 Christians from the United States—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following Jesus when they evaporated the people of Nagasaki, the oldest and the largest Christian community in Japan.

Today, as for most of the last 1700 years, most Christians continue to be nurtured by their Churches and their Churches’ leadership to justify as consistent with the teaching of the Jesus of the Gospels those energies, understandings, emotions and spirits which lead inevitably to August 9. Today most Christian Churches still do not unequivocally teach what Jesus unequivocally taught on the subject of violence and enmity. Today most Christian leaders and most Christians obstinately continue to proclaim that violence is the Christian Way, that violence is the Apostolic Way, that violence is the Way of Jesus. They are eternally dead wrong! They are destructively spreading untruth as the salvific truth taught by Jesus. They are, to date, an unstoppable spiritual and moral catastrophe in the Church and for all humanity.

It is because of this tragic and sorrowful fact that this Forty Day Fast is undertaken again this year. This Fast is a call to the Christian Churches, to Christian Church leaders and to individual Christians to repent and turn to the Christ and learn what the Father’s will is and how to live it in relation to the diabolic spirits of violence and enmity. It is a call to learn from Him who unambiguously teaches by courageous words and by costly deeds the Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as the Way of God and the Way of authentic discipleship.

This Fast is a prayer that the Universal Church will gather in Ecumenical Council on some August 9 in the not too distant future and declare once and for all that violence is not the Gospels’ way, that violence is not the Christian way, that violence is not the Apostolic way, that violence is not the Holy way, that violence is not the way of Jesus, and with this declaration disassociate Herself forever from the gods, philosophies and politics of homicide and be for all humanity the extension in time and space of the Nonviolent Jesus Christ, who unambiguously teaches, as the Way of the Father and as His Way, a Way of Nonviolent Love of all—friends and enemies—with no time-outs and no exceptions.

Please pray and fast as you are able. The smallest, mustard seed effort done in Christic love to bring   Jesus’ salvific truth, life and love to humanity will be honored by God and will be fruitful beyond all calculation and measure. 

Submitted for your personal and merciful meditation in Christ-God, amidst the anguish and absurdity of a world being mercilessly crucified daily by humanly created and religiously endorsed violence and enmity.

Introduction to the Annual Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence

By Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

Friends,

In the next posts, I will provide Statement of Purpose of the Annual Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence, July 1-August 9 and the short prayer people have prayed during this Fast for the last thirty-three years. Do read both, and do give participation in it some thought. Also, if you know of another or others who might be of a mind and heart to participate, please share this article with them.

Folks have participated in this Fast in various manners. In the beginning in 1983 the small number of people who participated, two, did a Fast on liquids only for the entire forty days. Some still do this. But as time rolled on it became clear that for most working people—as opposed to meditating monks with a strictly ordered life—a forty day fast on liquids only was too stringent. At that point the type of fast a person could do was left to him or her to decide depending on the situation-in-life of each. The critical element was that whatever was done, be done with an ungrudging spirit of Christlike love. For needless to say there must be a consistency between the means of fasting one has chosen and the end for which the Fast is undertaken, namely, to bring nonviolent Christlike love of all into the Church and into the world. So, do what you can in a peaceful Christlike spirit of Agape, and leave the fruits of yoiur efforts in the hands of God. Keep in mind the story of the widow’s offering (Mark 12 : 41- 44; Luke 21 : 1- 4). Jesus teaches that the two small coins she gave as an offering were of more spiritual worth than all the offerings of the rich, because the rich “contributed out of their abundance but she gave out of her poverty.”

Do what is possible for you to do in peace. If that is simply giving up a minute or two of your time each day to say a prayer for the intentions of the Fast, then do it, because Jesus’ teaching of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies does not have a prayer of being accepted by the Churches without yours. Leave the evaluation of the quality and value and success of what you are doing to the only One who can authentically make such those evaluations—within the immense incomprehensibility of existence in general  and within the unfathomable complexity of human existence in particular—God.

Charlie

Easter Sunday and the Holy in an Unholy Week

– Guest article by Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

The Holy, in what otherwise would be just another in the never-ending sequence of unholy weeks of evil and death, violence and enmity, is Jesus and His Holy response to the unholy. He and His chosen response of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies, even of betraying friends and lethal enemies, is the Holy in Holy Week, because it is the response that is filled with the Spirit of the Holy,God who is love. It is the response of Holy love to the unholy and hence the truthfulness of the name Holy Week. Nevertheless, Holy Week ends, as does every week and every life, in death, the end of Jesus’ life and many other lives, the end of Jesus’ world and the end of the worlds’ of many others.

A day and a half later we hear for the first time the words that will be said trillions of times across the next two thousand years, “He is risen!” Thousands of people had died during the previous week, but only one rises from the dead. Why? Is there any connection between Jesus’ Passion and His Resurrection, between His Cross and His Resurrection? If so, what is it?

If Jesus had suffered and died killing His enemies, using some justified violence theory as His rationale for responding to lethal enemies in this manner, would there be a Resurrection? If Jesus’ were calling for retaliation, retribution, reprisal, an “eye for an eye,” redress or justice from the Cross, would there be a Resurrection? How important is Jesus’ steadfast nonviolent love (agape) of betraying friends and lethal enemies during His Passion for opening the door for the Resurrection and comprehending the salvific revelatory communication from God that the Resurrection imparts? Remembering that nonviolent love even towards lethal enemies was the response to evil, violence, enmity and death chosen by Jesus because it was the will of the Father. He drank fully from the cup of nonviolent suffering love, including its dregs, not in order to suffer but in order to love as the Father loves, “who makes His sun rise on the bad and the good” (Mt 5:43-48; Lk 6:27-36), and do the Father’s “will on earth as it is done in heaven.”

It is possible to say the Father would have raised Jesus from the dead even if He were the moral equivalent of Alexander the Great or a Mafia enforcer to the very end of His life. If such were the case then Jesus’ life decisions regarding unconditional obedience to the Father’s will and what that will was would be irrelevant to His Resurrection. Indeed, nothing in Jesus’ life would be relevant. God was going to do what God was going to do regardless of what Jesus did. However under this interpretation of the saving event, Jesus could have suffered and died in uterobecause of a miscarriage or on a battlefield while trying to kill enemies and the Resurrection would have taken place and salvation would have been brought to humanity. Such is a possible interpretation of the Resurrection, namely, that there is nothing in Jesus’ Passion and death that makes any essential difference in terms of His Resurrection.

But, very, very few in the history of Christianity have given credence to an interpretation that holds there is no essential relationship between the Cross and the Resurrection. Almost all Christians have found it necessary to somehow connect Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection. But at least since the time of Constantine that connection has been the mere animal pain of being tortured and executed by crucifixion. Suffering for suffering sake out of obedience to God saved. As this view on the relationship between Cross and Resurrection gradually came to be articulated the point of contact between Cross and Resurrection was the acceptance, because it was the Father’s will, of mind-breaking pain by a Divine Infinite Incarnate Being in order to somehow satisfy an infinite offense or injustice committed against God by the human being.

The pastoral understanding that rationally flowed from such an interpretation was that it was by suffering that a person was saved—and the more the better. By somehow uniting one’s sufferings with the sufferings of Jesus on the Cross, one built up his or her treasury in heaven and could thereby have spiritual savings galore to offset any spiritual debts he or she may in justice have to pay. One’s suffering on the battlefield while trying to kill his/her enemies or those of his/her nation-state, ethnic group, religion or tribe was as spiritually valid and valuable as suffering while trying to love one’s enemies. The coin of the realm for entering heaven was suffering. Losing one’s life while trying to love one’s enemies and losing one’s life while trying to kill one’s enemies were both salvific acts if united somehow with the death of Jesus. Uncountable numbers of treatises in theology, spirituality, mysticism, metaphysic, morality, church discipline and Church-State relations were written to illuminate and refine this understanding of the relation between Cross and Resurrection and what it called people to if they desired to participate in the salvation made available by Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection.

Over the last five hundred years or so this interpretation of the Cross-Resurrection relationship has undergone some significant shading, or perhaps, alteration. With this revision, Jesus suffering and death on the Cross is still the means of salvation for Christians. However, now, no more was needed after Good Friday 33AD than to “accept Jesus as one’s savior.” Daily self- flagellation or giving up ice cream sodas was irrelevant to one’s salvation, as any and all other acts or works, whether it be loving one’s enemy or killing one’s enemy. All human choices were of no consequence for one’s salvation— except the choice internally “accepting Jesus as one’s savior.”

That Jesus suffered torture and died by crucifixion at the hands of the Jewish and Roman religious and secular political powerhouses of His time and place is a statement of historical fact. That He suffered and died in a Spirit of Nonviolent Love towards all, even His lethal enemies is also an historical fact. “Jesus saves,” however, is a faith statement, not a statement of verifiable historical fact or of reason. That being said, the question immediately arises, how does Jesus save all humanity and me? Is there some way that I am called to participate in or respond to the salvation made available through Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection so that in my freedom I have a part in choosing whether to be saved? Or, is my salvation and the salvation of humanity imposed via the almighty power of God? Depending on the answer, a person lives life differently.

The Gospels tell us that love (agape) and only love saves. Love is the center and the circumference and everything in between of the salvation process. Why? Love is not just the point at which the Cross and Resurrection meet. Love is what completely overlaps, saturates and envelops both events. It and only it has the power to save one and all eternally from evil and death. Love is the Eternal Life of the Eternal One, the Self-communication of the Eternal Life of the Eternal One to each and all, who choose to accept it, participate in it, live and die by it, and for it, in order to communicate it to others for their well being and eternal salvation.

“God is love (agape).” Jesus is the Word of God, God incarnate. The love He lives out of, the love that He choses, the love that He is Uncreated Love that exists from eternity to eternity. It is the love that never did not exists and could never not exists because it is the Love that is God, who always was and always will be. It is the love that Saint Paul states in his famous hymn of Love (1 Cor 13) last forever, that never comes to an end. This is so because it is Love that is the Self-communication of the Eternal IAM. It never ceases because IAM never ceases to be. Love bestows Eternal Life because it is Eternal Life.

One must first have faith in Jesus before one can accept as the will of God what He said and lived unto death, namely, the Way of Nonviolent Love of all always in imitation of Him. Jesus and Jesus alone is the authoritative validator of this truth and unique and ultimate model of this love. He is also the source of the power needed to live in and from this love. The Christian is not living a life in imitation of a dead hero. He or she is living life in, through and with the risen Christ. The power to live the new commandment, the power to “love one another (including enemies) as I have loved you” comes from Christ, the love of Christ, already existing in the person.

God who is love does not desire that Jesus or anyone else to suffer in order to placate Him, to get back into His good graces or to prove they have the right stuff to be a Christian and be saved. Suffering, like death, is the consequence of human beings choosing evil, that is sinning, individually and collectively.  TheHoly in Holy Week is not Jesus’ suffering but His unabated love for all, those who do Him good as well as those who do Him evil. This is what is Holy, this is what saves, this is what is and what bestows Eternal Life (salvation) on one and all, this is the power that overcomes all other powers because it is the Life of God and therefore the almighty power of God. To faithfully live this saving love in order to communicate it to others Jesus had to suffer. A Christian also, in many situations, will have to suffer, or possibly loose his or her life or some cherished piece of it, to communicate this saving love. But the salvific reality of the Cross of Christ to be embraced and lived is Holy love as revealed and lived unto death by Him—not suffering endured or imposed.

Christ is indeed risen! Jesus indeed saves!

.

A word beyond the final words as an Easter present (presence):

The few quotations below are from, The Power and the Wisdom: An Interpretation of the New Testament, (1965), by the preeminent Catholic Biblical scholar of the med-twentieth century, the Rev. John L. McKenzie. The Second Vatican Council had not yet concluded. In the Catholic Church in these times no Jesuit, which McKenzie was, could publish a theological work that did no receives three distinct formal approvals stating publicly that is was free of all doctrinal error. The names of these approvals that a piece of theological writing was in conformity with the Catholic faith were, Imprimi Potest, Nihil Obstat,and Imprimatur.  The Power and the Wisdom has all three. I mention this only to forestall any uninformed criticism in Catholic circles that what is said is not in conformity with the Magisterium or the Catholic Faith.

-The power which destroys all other powers is the power of love, the love of God revealed and active in Jesus Christ. God revealed in Jesus that He loves man and will deliver him through love and through nothing else.

-The saving act of Jesus is an act of love of the type which He recommends in the Gospels. He loves God by loving His fellow men.Theologians distinguish the “God-ward” and “man-ward” aspects of the saving act; but the New Testament does not use such distinctions. The saving act is all God-ward and all man-ward; it moves toward God by moving toward man, as Jesus tells His disciples they also must do. And He leaves no room for man to move toward God except through his fellow man. 

-John said that the Christian cannot prove his love of God except by his love of man. Matthew makes it very clear that it is not really proved unless the person we love is an enemy.

-Reason demands moderation in love as in all things; faith destroys moderation here. Faith tolerates a moderate love of one’s fellow human beings no more than it tolerates a moderate love between God and man.

-The New Testament speaks of love because it rises out of an uncreated love. The Christian event is not violent; and its effects are not felt through vulgar power. Jesus Himself spoke of its power in the parables of the leaven and the mustard seed. The Christian event moves not to take anything away, but to give man something, love. Man resists it. Man is not ready for love. He never has been. Yet, it is the one enduring reality in the created world, and in it man achieves enduring reality and value.

-No one questions the centrality of love in New Testament morality; it is questionable whether Christians have always grasped how different it is and how total it is. I venture to state its totality by saying that in the New Testament and act which is not an act of love has no moral value at all. There is no moral action in Christian life except the act of love.

-The power of love is seen in the death of Jesus; it is seen more fully in His resurrection. For love is a communication of self; and the Christian is not identified with God in Jesus unless he is identified with Jesus risen. Christ lives. The life of a Christian is not the imitation of a dead hero—and it is worth noticing that it can become just that.

-There is a subtle Christian logic in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give you, that you should love one another as I have loved you.” A more humanly reasonable logic would conclude: “…that you love me as I have loved you.” And this we would conclude, were not the New Testament so insistent upon its own logic.

The power of love is not the power to dominate but the power to communicate self; and the response is communication, tending toward complete identity.

-The Christian knows that his love is the active presence of God in the world; if he lacks it, he takes away God’s presence from the only place where he can put it. He has come between his neighbor and the saving love of Jesus Christ.

 

-Jesus presents in His words and life not only a good way of doing things, not only an ideal to be executed whenever it is convenient, but also the only way of doing what He did.

Easter Sunday — Defeat in Detail?

By Catholic Scout

And so they came to the tomb very early on the day after the Sabbath, at sunrise. And they began to question among themselves, Who is to roll the stone away for us from the door of the tomb?
Then they looked up, and saw that the stone, great as it was, had been rolled away already. And they went into the tomb, and saw there, on the right, a young man seated, wearing a white robe; and they were dismayed.
But he said to them, No need to be dismayed; you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified; he has risen again, he is not here. Here is the place where they laid him. Go and tell Peter and the rest of his disciples that he is going before you into Galilee. There you shall see him, as he promised you.

As He promised you. He did not fail.
 
[3] Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
[4] Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. 
[5] Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
[6] Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. 
[7] Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 
[8] Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
[9] Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. 
[10] Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[11] Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: 
[12] Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.

The Promises of this Man, are not for this earthly realm, but an eternal one. He will not fail those who are faithful to His Way.

The titles of the talks are:
The New Commandment
https://soundcloud.com/gnv-3/17-kingdom-lamb-new

The Kingdoms of the World and All Their Splendor or Diakonia
https://soundcloud.com/gnv-3/18-kingdom-lamb-diakonia

Religious Self-Deception: How Evil Becomes Good

Saturday: Holy Week–a Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

Friends,

“Viewing the mutilated body of the beloved is the most grief-ridden experience of human existence. It is incontrovertible evidence that evil rules. It is an unambiguous testament that in the end it is not the gentle, the nonviolent and the meek who inherit the earth but the cruel, the violent and the tough. Death and the dark side of reality are always the final victors.

The dead body of Christ lying wide-eyed and open-mouthed upon the ground seems to be not only incontestable testimony that all this is true, but also the most conclusive evidence that the cross of nonviolent love does not save—that the Sermon on the Mount is at best clearly wrong, and at worst, a socially irresponsible misleading of people into paths of total destruction.

It is all over! Period. The person is placed in the grave never to be seen nor to see again, never to speak nor to be spoken to again, never to love nor to be loved again. Never! Never! Never! He or she won’t be back. In the end those who choose the way of the of nonviolent suffering love end up like all others—food for worms. Their molecules randomly are irretrievably spread throughout an infinite and indifferent ocean of time and space. Hope of being again is pointless. Personal existence is lost forever.

One last moment. One last touch. One final kiss. A whispered, “I love you— Good-bye forever,” and then the rock is placed over the tomb. Nonviolent Love, like hedonism, Aristotelianism, stoicism and all other philosophies, is ultimately an illusion without real power to save, a faith without any eternal potential or possibilities.

An occupied sepulcher is no more a symbol of hope than a Nazi crematory. The dead body of Jesus, the Jew from Nazareth, is a stark and irrefutable statement and memory of what violence and enmity do to a life, and that a life of Nonviolent Love is not the Way to overcome violence and enmity, evil and death. There is no more to be said and no more that can be done. There is only memory and unbearable suffering to be endured.

(Excerpt from The Stations of the Cross of Nonviolent Love)

The following video, viewer discretion is advised, contains disturbing and graphic images of real casualties of war.

Friday: Holy Week–A Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

Friends,

With what magnitude of overwhelming certainty must the truth—that the will of the Father was to nonviolently love (agape) all human beings always—have been in the mind and heart of Jesus on that first Good Friday, that He would choose to be tortured and murdered rather than live some other truth. It was a truth of the Father’s will, which was so beyond doubt that He would choose to die living it rather than to live by abandoning it. 

And yet, almost universally the institutional Churches of Christianity, their leaders and most Christians are indifferent towards that same truth of the Father and Jesus. They are breezily dismissive of it, or superficially critical of it, or mindlessly mocking of it, or aggressively hostile to it.

For popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, ministers, pastors and Christians, who follow the Christian custom of rejecting this teaching of Jesus and raising up as a moral equivalent a contradictory teaching, e.g., a Christian justified violence moral theory, Friday of Holy Week is a dangerous memory, if permitted to be remembered fully and accurately. But, it is not as dangerous to soul and body, to self and humanity as forgetting this truth that the Word of God Incarnate explicitly and concretely revealed for all to see that Friday for their redemption—revealed at such great cost in the currency of nonviolent suffering love. Take Jesus’ nonviolent love of all, friends and enemies, out of Good Friday, and replace it with one of the customary Christian substitutes justifying violence and enmity that Church leaders and Christians now hold and teach as an equivalent way of faithfully following Jesus, and Good Friday and all that it reveals of God, His power and His wisdom does not exist.

One would think that something so irremovable and essential for a phenomenon to exist would be equally irremovable and essential whenever the phenomenon and its consequences are referred to or remembered. But, again, almost universally such is not the case in the Churches of Christianity, in the teachings of their leaders or in the minds and hearts of most Christians. Yet, what Jesus knew with certainty was the will of the Father and therefore essential for Him to live on Good Friday in 33 AD, what was equally essential for the Evangelists to record in the Gospels, and what was essential for Good Friday to even exists, is a non-thought in the minds of  95% of Christians today, regardless of their Church or the place they hold in their Church.

Dangerous indeed is the memory of Good Friday for any institution, religious or secular, built and maintained by the brick and mortar of violence and enmity and all the spiritually destructive spirits that they release into that institution. Even more dangerous is the memory of Good Friday for any human life, Christian or non-Christian, built and maintained by the brick and mortar of violence and enmity and all the spiritually destructive spirits they release into the mind and heart of that human life. Dangerous but potentially salvific. For in obliterating all hope that there is any such spiritual reality as redemptive violence, it unambiguously reveals wherein the hope for redemption lies—the nonviolent love of all, in trusting communion with and in trusting imitation of God Incarnate.