John Dear is a Jesuit priest, pastor, and peacemaker who lives in northern New Mexico; he is the author or editor of some 20 books. In this paperback, he pays a very uncommon tribute to a fascinating group of saints, prophets, and martyrs who witnessed to the truth of the Gospel of peace, love, and nonviolence. In addition, there are 32 extraordinary icons by William Hart McNichols whose work was also featured in two Megan McKenna books and The Bride by Daniel Berrigan.
Dear, who identifies most with John the Baptist, demonstrates a rigorous devotion to peacemaking as he discusses the multiple connections between poverty, injustice, and war. His subjects including Maximilian, Edmund Campion, Francisco Marto, Miguel Pro, Alberto Hurtado, Dorothy Day, Jean Donovan, and Philip Berrigan devoted their lives to combating these scourges.
He quotes Dorothy Day on a strategy that would help us cope better with the present era of violence and war:
"When I sit in jail thinking of war and peace and the problem of human freedom, of jails, drug addiction, prostitution and the apathy of great masses of people who believe that nothing can be done when I thought of these things I was all the more confirmed in my faith in the little way of St. Therese. We do the things that come to hand, we pray our prayers and beg for an increase of faith-and God will do the rest."
Dear adds his own addendum: "This little way of nonviolence is revolutionary for it demands steadfast inner determination to confront the selfishness and violence within us, to open our hearts to be consumed by God's love, and to overwhelm those we do not like with good deeds, kindness, and loving service."
The saints in this paperback practiced the Gospel in small and humble ways and their witness calls us to the little way of nonviolence in our lives for the sake of all beings and the world.