The Beloved Community

Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved
community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into
friends. The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love;
not philia, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is agape which is
understanding goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.
It is the love of God working in the lives of people. This is the love that may well be the
salvation of our civilization.
Throughout the day on Monday as I listened to the commentaries on Dr. King and his extraordinary speeches, I reminded capitated by his vision of the Beloved Community. He said of us humans, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
This idea of a world in which all peoples share in the resources of our earth and where the absolute respect for the human dignity of each person disallows poverty, racism, and homelessness is exactly the vision Christ offered us of the Kingdom of God. What makes the Beloved Community possible is the consistency of acting without violence on behalf of others.  

This call to build the Beloved Community compels all of us to embrace non-violence. Both Benedict XVI and Francis I reminded us of this call. Benedict described non-violence as a way of being….

For Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behavior but a person’s way of being,
the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is
not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone. Love of one’s
enemy constitutes the nucleus of the "Christian revolution."
Pope Francis Explained in his April 2016 World Day of Peace message that “in the context of the pervasive violence in which we live we must commit ourselves anew to make active nonviolence ‘our way of life’ and ‘the hallmark’ of our decisions, relationships and actions—locally and in the international order.” Francis believes that Jesus marked out the path of nonviolence by showing us the way of love, hospitality and forgiveness.

In schools that are committed to the development and implementation of “programs that teach the principles of nonviolence, conflict resolution and peacemaking,” Dr. King’s call to build the Beloved Community is worthy of our constant attention. To be heralds of God’s love is exactly the end of Sacred Heart education; we educators and students of the Sacred Heart are called to reveal God’s love in the heart of the world.
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.