From a letter from Susan Crane:
...Maybe you are asking: "Can't you think of something better to do? Are you being effective?"... I want to talk about my motivation. After all, I was recently released from prison and I struggled with the Baltimore Probation Department and Judge Carter in Maine to live at Jonah House. (Thanks for all the letters of support.)
I like living at Jonah House: the work that the community does is important. Helped by sharing the daily readings each morning and participating in a shared reflection, we have a chance to examine our conduct and try to align ourselves with gospel values. In addition, much of the work seems to be teaching - Faith and Resistance retreats, the Atlantic Life Community, and student groups that come to the community for a meal or for a week. Many of the youth who come have never thought of Jesus as nonviolent and never thought of our country as warmaking. Added to that, our "one purse," shared physical work (paint jobs and cemetery maintenance), and attempts to nonviolently resist evil turn upside down the assumptions many of these youth come with.
At the same time, I talk to Mike and Mary Donnelly, Bishop Tom Gumbleton, David Smith-Ferri, and Chris Doucot about what they saw when they were in Iraq. I read about the children who have mirasmas because of the sanctions, and cancer because of the depleted uranium and other poisons that result from the war. I read the scriptures with my community: "I give you a new commandment: love one another" (Jn 13:34) and in reflection it's clear that this love has to be shown for others regardless of consequences to ourselves.
The warmaking and the weapons get in the way of right relationships between us and our neighbors, us and the earth and us and our God. And so we form a Plowshares community, keeping ourselves indifferent to our natural likes and dislikes in such matters as health or sickness, honor or dishonor, wealth or poverty, or between living in jail or out of jail. Together... we bring our hammers down on the weapons that threaten our neighbors and are an obscenity to our nonviolent Creator who has commanded us not to kill.