Peace be with you.
Who today isn’t longing for peace—in their hearts, their
homes, the world?
A college professor of mine signed letters with “Peace, eventually.” It
rings true to my life—there is little peace to be found in my days, but I place my
hope and faith in finding true peace, eventually.
I remember yearning for that short period between my daughter’s
bedtime and my own. “Ah!” I thought, “Peace at last!” And when
I was teaching junior high students and would return to my apartment after a long and trying
day or week. “Ah!” I thought, “Peace at last!” And when all the
parish buildings had emptied of religious education students and the parking lot of cars. “Ah!” I
thought, “Peace at last!”
These short periods of welcome peace came following times of great
activity. But I don’t begin to think that that kind of peace is all that I can find
in my life. I want more. I long for more—something lasting, a peace in my soul.
I find the promise in Paul’s letter to the Philippians quite
stirring: “…the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your
hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (4:7). It brings me comfort to think of God’s
peace guarding both my heart and mind. I turn to God in anxious moments and in times
of uncertainty and pray for God’s peace.
As we enter a particularly busy time of our year, my prayer for you
is that you stay focused on Christ, the Prince of Peace. When I ground myself in Christ,
my priorities line up correctly, I find time to take care of myself, I manage to get everything
done that I need to do and even find enjoyment in the doing. It’s then that I feel
the “peace of God that surpasses all understanding.” This makes me long for
the day when I can keep a constant focus on Christ and experience that eventual and lasting
peace that my college professor wished for me.
A new DVD resource that celebrates two saints we often think of when
we hear the word peace
Pilgrimage: Walking in Faith With Francis and Clare
. I’ve selected a clip
chronicling the visit of pilgrims to the dormitory of St. Clare at San Damiano. There they
celebrate a healing service, praying for their own healing and that of others. As St. Clare
was known to have the gift of healing, it is an appropriate and meaningful location for
such a time of prayer. As Murray Bodo, O.F.M., a pilgrimage guide, states at the end of
the clip, “I have seen through the years many, many healings there—especially
healing of memories, healing of hatreds people are holding on to, grudges. They somehow
fall off there.”
May you find peace in these busy days of Advent as we prepare to celebrate
the birth of the Prince of Peace! Peace, eventually.