Chrissy Nesbitt was going through the videos that she discovered of the Festivals of Hope surrounding the 1980 Plowshares Eight and discovered many treasures. Among them was one of Sr. Anne Montgomery speaking to one of the gatherings. In this particular video Anne speaks beautifully about light and darkness; about living into the light.
The audio is very poor on many of these videos, and so it was with this one. Chrissy did an miraculous job of getting nearly all of it down for us to read. Any portions that were unintelligible are noted by dashed lines.
Chrissy remarked to me “that she’s talking [in this video] about the same themes of light and darkness and hope… the same themes that stood out to me from her first DNP reflection on the website… one of my favorite reflections to come out of DNP, which touched me the most deeply.” Click here to read Facing the Darkness, a reflection on the Disarm Now Plowshares witness, written by Anne in 2010.
Anne’s ashes arrived at Oakwood earlier today in preparation for tomorrow’s service.
May we all have, as Anne said in the video, “life, light and hope.”
Sr. Anne Montgomery,
Plowshares 8 Festival of Hope,
At the end of Jesus’ life: “There was a garden in that place, and Jesus and his disciples went in. Judas, the traitor, knew where it was, because many times Jesus had met there with his disciples. So Judas went to the garden, taking with him a group of soldiers, and some Temple guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees; they were armed and carried lanterns and torches.” (John 18)
I think the whole gospel of John really is about the difference between light and darkness. But what struck me reflecting on it this time was that we find it has become very concrete by the time Jesus goes to the garden and is arrested. In the beginning, we hear about the Word, about life, about light, all three dealing with the same thing. At the end, we find Jesus, the light of the world, in the garden, the garden of this Earth, being arrested in the dark, by men who have been conquered by darkness. They had to carry torches. They were trusting in the torches the way people today trust in bombs —- which of course are very evil, but they do not recognize the light of the world. —- concrete ———- Jesus had to go to that garden, had to face those men, had to be very much part of that moment, a moment of great hope, because he was giving the rest of his life.
Somebody in my community was reflecting on this, and was telling me about Helen Keller, and I think it’s a marvelous example. If you remember that moment when her teacher poured water into her hand and for the first time the child understood the meaning of language. She felt the water pouring into her hand, that word ‘water’ and its meaning. In her autobiography “That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!” I think that’s what such acts as the one we did and others are trying to say, in concrete terms: that if we take life into our hands and live this way, then we will have life, light, and hope.
Editor’s Notes: Photo of Anne by Chrissy Nesbitt. Source URL for original YouTube video that was source of transcription: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBk_4Zmo26U