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Restorative Justice A Call To Christians

Even as the gun battles rage, the seeds of a new and more spiritual way of living are being planted everywhere.

It’s clear that this inevitable process is accelerating when you read this restorative justice story about Andy and Kate Grosmaire, who always tried to model their lives after Jesus and St. Augustine. After their daughter Ann was shot by her boyfriend (who used his father’s gun) and she lay unconscious in the hospital, they were not thinking about vengeance.

Instead, they turned to prayer. Ann’s father, Andy, sat at Ann’s bedside – where she lay mortally wounded – and sent silent messages of healing to her. Then, out of the blue, he received a message back that seemed to be Ann’s voice sounding in his head. It asked him to forgive her murderer.

“I realized it was not just Ann asking me to forgive Conor, it was Jesus Christ,” Andy Grosmaire said, “And I hadn’t said no to him before, and I wasn’t going to start then. It was just a wave of joy, and I told Ann: ‘I will. I will.’ ”

As a result of Andy’s spiritual revelation, he and his wife Kate were not broken by unrelenting hate or the need for revenge. They did not suffer under a need to make Conor “pay” for the loss of their daughter – a price he could never match, even by forfeiting his own life. Instead, they gravitated toward a process called “restorative justice” so they could truly forgive and go on.

After reading this story, there is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Grosmaire, because of his spiritual practice and intentions, was open to receiving Divine Guidance and received it directly. He and his wife are true Christians, in that they actually follow the teachings of Jesus. The lessons from this story are many.

First, the Grosmaires have demonstrated for us what it means to be a real follower of Christ as opposed to a pretend follower of Christ. As wrenching a process as it may be, a real Christian does not demand revenge, but seeks to forgive. That’s what the Grosmaires did. Through them Christ’s “radical” forgiveness from two thousand years ago has been demonstrated today. We can now choose to see that it is possible to align with Christ Consciousness  in today’s world and forgive an act that is “unforgivable.”

Second, we are shown a viable alternative to our current “one size fits all” system of punitive justice. Through Andy and Kate’s insistence on living their spiritual principles, a more spiritually advanced way of dealing with crime and criminals has been introduced into – of all unlikely places – the State of Florida.

Third, through the detailed reporting in this story, we are shown that this alternative to revenge is the harder road for everyone.  Contrary to what some might tell you, restorative justice is not the road for “wusses.” It is the road of the faithful.

That’s why many people would rather carry a gun and blow away a disagreeable person who threatens them, rather than have a conversation or take any risk. Holding Jesus’s words in your heart, transcending fear and reaching out with kindness is infinitely harder and more challenging than keeping your distance, pulling out your gun, and shooting.

The truth is, the guy with the gun is really “the wuss,” in that he is running from love, from his Higher Self and from God.


As wrenching a process as it may be, a real follower of Christ does not demand revenge, but does his or her best to forgive. That’s what the Grosmaires did by insisting on “restorative justice.” Through them Christ’s “radical forgiveness” from two thousand years ago has been demonstrated today.

Through their example, we can now choose to see how it is possible to align with Christ Consciousness not just 2000 years ago, but in today’s world. We can now see that it is possible to forgive, and to be freed from hatred for a person who has performed an act that we have been told is unforgivable.


Restorative justice requires the greatest personal honesty and spiritual growth from an accuser. It requires the accuser – the victim – to strip away the blinders of the false self – the ego – and surrender oneself to God. That is not a task done easily. It is far easier to stay small, stay in victim mode, and never forgive.

Yet, when you never forgive, you are never free. When you never forgive you can never, again, be truly happy. And if you can never again be truly happy, you will never align with your Higher Self in this lifetime.

Restorative justice is also more grueling for the perpetrator than a regular trial. The perpetrator can’t make excuses. He can’t just “tune out.” He must take complete responsibility for all his actions. He must face his victims, own up to his crime, apologize, and make amends. He can’t avoid the eyes of his accusers. He can’t get off without an apology – the thing that most victims want most desperately – and he cannot just unrepentantly serve some arbitrary sentence.

The restorative justice process requires that the perpetrator fully understand the excruciating impact he has had on the people he affected. It requires him to be honest. If his life has been one of passing the buck, it changes him. It does not allow him to maintain emotional distance between him and those he hurt. In short, he feels the impact of his own actions.


Restorative justice requires all parties to be human and humane. It requires each person to connect with a higher truth. While the process does not use religious or spiritual language, it ultimately requires all parties to surrender their own wills to a greater Will.

That’s the most difficult thing of all.

There is no harder task for any of us mortals than to say, “Not my will, but thine be done.” We prefer to judge, strike out, defend, punish or kill – and maybe even say we did it in God’s name. Doing that is so much easier than surrendering in faith to a Higher Power that tells us, “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “Thou shalt not kill.” That’s why we have passed all these new laws making it okay to kill someone if he looks at you cross-eyed and you feel threatened.

Yet, as we move toward embracing this way of dealing with crime and criminals – through choosing a higher consciousness aligned with Christ – imagine the repercussions it will have.

As we become more aligned with love and with God, we will begin to feel more empathy for others. As we fear less and empathize more, we will feel more secure and safe. Feeling more secure, we will become more transparent in our motivations. We will also feel braver about reaching out to a person who is in obvious emotional trouble. We will listen for “the still small voice” that guides us in mending fences, avoiding trouble, and reaching out to others in crisis.

As we become more transparent in our motivations and open to being helpful rather than defensive, there will be less suspicion and mistrust between people. As suspicion, separation and mistrust begins to dissolve among us, we will stop feeling so separate.

Instead of seeing ourselves as separate, we will begin to look at each other as members of a connected community. We will even begin to take responsibility for those who are “acting out.” We will begin to comprehend that their “acting out” these behaviors gives us an opportunity to help heal negative traits that are in all of us. We will then look for a way to serve others through Christ so they may rise up out of the pain that has them acting so badly.

As we begin to see that we are all threads in one tapestry of life, we will be less inclined to believe groups like the NRA that tell us we each need a gun to defend ourselves against everyone else.  As people begin to make the choice to not own guns, fewer people will be killed simply because there was a gun in the home and available. As the number of guns steadily decreases, we will see fewer and fewer massacres and avoidable tragedies – events that drag us down as individuals and a society.

In short, every step any one of us takes toward aligning with Christ’s love is a step in the right direction for all of us.


Restorative justice is our model for the future. It is what Christ would have us choose at this point in our spiritual evolution.

To those who insist that “justice” can only be done by never forgiving those who do harm, and to those many who are in favor of the death penalty, all I can say is:

God bless you. May your eyes be opened so that you realize that when you hate and condemn any person, you hate and condemn yourself because we are strands in the One God. We are One spiritually and, one day, all humankind will realize the real world implications of this spiritual truth.

May you heal your own need to punish and kill others. In this way you will help to make murder a thing of the past. Yet, if you keep on fighting fire with fire – fighting murder with murder – then you assure that murder (and your fear of killers) will continue to show up in your life and in the world, unabated.


Meanwhile, the old paradigm – with it’s self-perpetuating fears that keep us from rising up into greater alignment with God – is fighting for its life. We see that in the NRA’s “let us sell you more guns” suggestions. The NRA is growing more shrill and, like Hal in the film 2001: A Space Odyssy, the NRA is basing its logic on a faulty premise. This logic must ultimately expose itself for what it is: insanity.

The battle between good and evil that so many Christians are fond of talking about is not a battle between individual people or groups of people. It’s a battle of paradigms – of belief systems.

One belief system, based upon Christ’s teachings, will have us say “no” to fear, guns and revenge as we say “yes” to love and God.

The other paradigm rejects Christ’s teachings. Seen in this context, it’s clear that the NRA’s ideology is on the side of evil since it chooses guns and irrational fear over love and God.

Yet, collectively, it is obvious that the old paradigm is in its death throes. However long it takes for us to pass through this phase, it’s clear we are hungry to move on to greater and more glorious things than arguing for fear. So, despite the fear and evil spread by the NRA, it’s power is coming to an end. Likewise, sooner or later, restorative justice must become our preferred way of dealing with criminals.

Our spiritual destiny decrees it.

The Christ Consciousness is urging us toward it.

And so it must be.

Lifting personal and world energies since 2003.



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