AdJUSTment Year of Faith September Focus: Vinoba Bhave

Paul Keggington

September 13, 2012

As Pope Benedict XVI invites all Catholics to enter into a Year of Faith in October, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy begins now a new AdJUSTment series focusing on people of faith like Vinoba Bhave, an apostle of non-violence.

September brings us to a new edition of  the Adjustment series relative to Catholic Social Doctrine, peace and justice.  We are also entering the church’s Year of Faith.  This year we consider how these two themes intersect.  If we wish to pattern our living on Jesus’ example, then we must live justly, in peace with our roots anchored firmly in faith.  Who better to lead us to this intersection than Saints and other faithful witnesses?  So, each month we will explore the lived example of one of these holy ones.  Each article will end with a suggested introduction for the examen and intercession for use in praying the Liturgy of the hours for that month.  All Saints by Robert Ellsberg has been a faithful reference in preparing our reflections.

September presents us with the life of Vinoba Bhave, Apostle of Non-violence.  Widely regarded as the spiritual heir of Mahatma Gandhi, he conceived of the Land-Gift movement.  By way of Vinoba’s urging, wealthy landowners were encouraged to give acreage  to the poor who had no access to land as a means to support themselves.  The movement met with success, but Vinoba was mostly interested in the spiritual revolution reflected in the gifts of land.  He wrote, “We do not aim at doing mere acts of kindness, but at creating a Kingdom of Kindness.”  Although the movement eventually met defeat, Vinoba became a man of deep prayer.  Through the power of his faith he prodded the consciences of multitudes and provided us all with a glimpse of a society organized around human goodness rather than human greed.

Consider: How have I modeled and encouraged true,  sincere generosity that grows out of authentic faith?

Pray:  Generous Father, enrich us with a more authentic faith and open our eyes to lead others into generosity, we pray…

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