From Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Father Jacques Phillipe.

Let us then seek to put into practice all that has been said, with patience and perseverance, and, above all, without becoming discouraged if we don’t arrive at perfection! Permit me to formulate an axiom that is a little paradoxical: above all we must never lose our peace because we can never find or be as much at peace as we would like! Our reeducation is long and it is necessary to have a lot of patience with ourselves.

This, then, is the fundamental principle: “I will never become discouraged!” This is another phrase taken from the little Therese, who is the consummate model of the spirit that we have attempted to describe in these pages. And let us also repeat the words of the great Saint Teresa of Avila, “patience obtains everything.”

Another very useful, practical principle is the following: If I am not capable of great things, I will not become discouraged, but I will do the small things!

Sometimes, because we are unable to do great things, heroic acts, we neglect the small things that are available to us and which are, moreover, so fruitful for our spiritual progress and are such a source of joy: well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, I will now trust you with greater. Come and share your master’s joy. (Matthew 25:21)

If the Lord finds us faithful and persevering in small things in terms of what he expects of us, it is He Himself who will intervene and establish us in a higher grace.

The application: If I am still not able to remain at peace when faced with difficult situations, then it is better that I should begin to strive to keep this peace in the easier situations of everyday life: to quietly and without irritability do my daily chores, to commit myself to doing each thing well in the present moment without preoccupying myself with what follows, to speak peacefully and with gentleness to those around me, to avoid excessive hurry in my gestures and in the way I climb the stairs!

The first steps on the ladder of sanctity could very well be those of my own apartment!

The soul often is re-educated by the body! Small things done with love and to please God are extremely beneficial in making us grow; it’s one of the secrets of holiness of Saint Therese of Lisieux.

And if we persevere in such a way, in prayer and with the small acts of collaboration with grace, we will be able to live the words of Saint Paul: Don’t be anxious; instead, give thanks in all your prayers and petitions and make your requests known to God, and God’s peace which is beyond all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

And this peace nobody can take from us.



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