French nun Sister Mai Nghiem, of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition, has composed “Dear President Hollande,” an open letter of to France’s president in response to last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. It begins:
Dear Mr. President,
This morning four military planes crossed the sky over our mountains. They made me think of France. I have been in California for a year, but these past days my heart and thoughts go out unceasingly to my native country.
My thoughts also go out to you, Mr. President, father of a country in shock, who must, at this hour, cope with a painful and complex situation under extreme political and media-driven pressure which must cause you, no doubt, stress-filled nights without rest.
Then, evoking Pope Francis’s own evocation of the Golden Rule, Sister Mai Nghiem urges that we may all learn from history, and
[…] together work to build a world where attentive and compassionate listening to the suffering endured by both sides prevails over the unnecessary escalation of violence that no one wishes for, where the desire for deep and genuine understanding triumphs over our prejudices, our fears and our thirst for vengeance or power;
So that together we may, as Gandhi said, not just keep ourselves from making the world blind, but also light a spark of life, of hope and of love in the eyes of its inhabitants.
Read the entire letter here.