A Personal, Active, and Creative Way of Life

By Ayden Pugh, The Circuit.

The annual Fellin Lecture came to Benedictine College on Sept. 17; this marks 21 years. The Fellin Endowment Fund sponsors the lecture series, presented each year by the Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery to support the liberal arts orientation of Benedictine College.

This year, Cory Lockhart, a peace worker with JustFaith Ministries, offered an address on “Nonviolent Practice: A Personal, Active and Creative Way of Life.”

“Nonviolence begins when we look at other people and other parts of Creation, and we see our interconnection, and we want to honor and protect that interconnection and all those with whom we are connected,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart talked about many of her own experiences in nonviolent protesting. She also gave examples of other nonviolent protestors including Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. At the beginning of her talk, she asked each audience member to recite after her Gandhi’s peace prayer to the person sitting next to him or her. The goal was to represent her point about nonviolence starting with interconnectivity.

The main question Lockhart’s lecture tackled was, “What is mine to do?” What Lockhart means by this is, “What is your calling or place in the world?”

Emily Sanderlin, freshman theatre major and lecture attendee, shared her thoughts on the lecture.

“It was really good that she got people thinking about what is theirs to do,” Sanderlin said. It gets people engaged in how they can apply nonviolent practices in their life. When I hear about violent acts in the past, I always wish that they could have been avoided. It was good to hear to talk about a real alternative to war.”

Lockhart shared how nonviolence relates to both Protestant Christians and Catholics Christians alike.

“Why must Christians embrace nonviolence? It is the way of Jesus,” Lockhart said. “At the Last Supper, Jesus spoke of giving his own body for us. He did not ask us to sacrifice or do harm to anyone else’s bodies.”

The lecture inspected both violence and nonviolence both practically and in theory. Lockhart ended the lecture with a call to action and the Benedictine Peace Prayer.

“Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica, you were people of peace, you walked the paths of peace your whole life and led all who came to you into the ways of peace. Help us to seek peace and pursue it, to be the first to hold out our hands in friendship and forgiveness. Help us to achieve peace in our hearts, in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and in our troubled world. Let peace fill our lives so that we may live in God’s grace and love. Amen.”

“In a world with so many problems and so much violence, from subtle or invisible to some of us, too obvious and horrific, what is my work, my unique contribution to making the world a more just and peaceful one?” Lockhart said. “Be attentive to the question and open to an answer that may continually call you into a deeper embodiment of a particular way, or may call you to new ways of being and doing in the world.”