Peace and Justice - Fr. Benjamin J. Urmston

Ignatian Spirituality and Peace, a Path to Peace with Justice and Sustainability

"Behold I make all things new." "Five Pillars of a New World Building," explored in a video by Benjamin J. Urmston, S.J., director emeritus of Peace and Justice Programs at Xavier University. As we envision and work toward a better world, let us reflect also on all the good that is done and has been done throughout the ages. Let us invest in a future of peace, hope, and love.

An individual may find parts of this vision helpful, but the full vision and its development can engage groups like universities, Christian Life Community, Pax Christi, the Network of Spiritual Progressives. A vision of hope can make us better persons in a better world. A new earth and a new heaven is described in Gaudium et Spes, Joy and Hope, in the Second Vatican Council especially No. 39. I also am inspired by The Divine Milieu of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

If one hopes, even though his tongue is still, he is singing always in his heart.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

Many blessings for great work! Your website is terrific! Fr. Peter Henriot, S.J.

Ben...Your Vision is powerful peace, even more important now. We seem to be moving into an even more violent world, so such a vision gives us hope. Thank you. Bob Sauerbrey




Way Toward Vision

Ignatian Spirituality and Peace, a Path to Peace with Justice

This web-page contains my vision and hope following my experiences, my reading and research, my faith. If I mis-represent anyone or any group mentioned, I will gladly correct what is said. I believe in responsible freedom of speech, but I cannot represent all opinions in this small space. As a medical doctor believes in health rather than sickness, I believe in a peace with justice rather than war, violence, and injustice. Unless I quote a particular source, what is said here contains my own insights. Within the limited time available to me, I will try to clarify any position expressed. As St. Ignatius says in the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises, it is presupposed that one is more ready to put a good interpretation on another's statement rather than to condemn it. If one cannot save his neighbor's statement, he should ask him how he means it. I don't think that labeling or name-calling furthers rational and loving discourse, I try to consider a particular position on its intrinsic merits rather than who is saying it although I obviously believe in God's Word and my Catholic Faith. I critique structures and policies as I think any responsible citizen should, but I certainly don't attempt to judge the conscience of individual persons. I am not politically partisan, but I feel free to praise or criticize particular political programs and policies. I don't think I'm too old to grow, and I welcome dialogue.

The second section on the left, "Citizens for Global Solutions" contains principles that I endorse. Applications of principles are subject to dialogue.

Xavier's Peace Studies Minor is an academic program. Xavier's Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice is a co-curriculum program which is part of Student Life and Leadership. The two programs are separate but friends who often collaborate. Members of the Peace Studies Committee and teachers in the Peace Studies Program do not necessarily endorse all the positions described here nor does the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice nor do I necessarily endorse all the positions of all the groups mentioned.

God gave us hearts and ears to listen carefully but minds to distinguish. At times I hear arguments like "Environmentalists are for clean air and pure water. But Communists are for clean air and pure water. Therefore clean air and pure water are bad. And environmentalists are Communists." Such sloppy logic is unworthy of thinking citizens or responsible journalists.

Rev. Benjamin J. Urmston, S.J.PhD
Jesuit priest at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio

Phone: (513) 745-3320