"On this rebirthing day, January 19, 2009, Martin Luther King's Birthday, on the eve of there coming into office a new government to represent the American people, I join in covenant with other Americans:
I commit myself to give a new birth in America and in the world to the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, to call ourselves and every nation now to develop an overriding loyalty to humankind as a whole, in order to preserve the best in our individual societies;
I commit myself to work toward a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond any tribe, race, class, or nation; to call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all humanity and for the web of life upon our planet;
I commit myself to fuse power with compassion, might with morality, and strength with sight; to choose nonviolent coexistence rather than violent co-annihilation; to speak for peace and justice throughout the world—within and beyond our doors and shores.
I commit myself to take specific actions.
I do this in the knowledge that tomorrow is today, that we are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long, hard, and beautiful struggle for a new world."
The text above is part of Sr. Joan Chittister's "Vision and Viewpoint" e-newsletter, and is part of an initiative from the Shalom Center.
Seen Above: Photograph by C. Robin Janning