A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Posts tagged ‘Julia Ward Howe’

“Arise, then, women of this day…” Julia Ward Howe

“Arise, then, women of this day…”

Dear All – It is a little early for Mother’s Day but I wanted to share an excerpt from a reflection written for Mother’s Day in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe. Ms. Howe was a poet, pacifist, suffragist and author of the lyrics to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Her reflection came across my desk right after I read of even more deaths in Iraq. The snyergy of her words with the story from Iraq struck me and I wanted to share her piece.

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water of fears!

Arise and say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender to those from another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have forsaken the plow and anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first as women to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Cesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, and the great and general interest of peace.”

May it be so…Much Peace Liz

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