Several hundred people gathered in a Chicago hotel this weekend for the annual Pax Christi assembly. There we met other activists, renewed old friendships, and took energy from inspiring speakers. Mostly, we pondered the theme laid out in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final sermon, “Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution.” He preached it at Washington’s National Cathedral, four days before an assassin’s bullet struck him down.
King’s sermon evoked the image of Rip Van Winkle’s 20-year sleep. “One of the great liabilities of life is that too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution!”