Quakers (members of the Religious Society of Friends) gather in regular meetings where they cherish silence as a way to center down to their interior spiritual depths. They have a saying that the service begins when the meeting is over. This tradition puts the accent on a commitment to peace and nonviolence that stretches back 350 years. Catherine Whitmire has assembled a sturdy and substantive collection of quotations from Quakers on the things that make for peace. Also the author of Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity, she currently writes, provides spiritual direction, and leads peace and nonviolence workshops and retreats.
Quakers have been recording their experience of practicing peace in journals, letters, and articles since the 1650s. She includes quotations from many famous Quakers William Penn, George Fox, Rufus M. Jones, A. J. Muste, Bayard Rustin, Elise and Kenneth Boulding, Richard J. Foster, Parker Palmer, and others. Equally edifying are the accounts of Friends through the years who have pioneered peacemaking in a variety of settings.
This paperback conveys the incredible difficulties in practicing peace in all arenas of life and includes suggestions for practicing peace through visioning, loving enemies, nonviolent action, pacifism, conscientious objection, witnessing, patience, endurance, and hope. Whitmire ends with this inspiring quotation by George Fox:
"I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death,
but an infinite ocean of light and love,
which flowed over the ocean of darkness:
and in that I saw the infinite love of God;
and I had great openings."