by Father Lasance, Peace Not as the World Gives
PEACE WITH GOD
Reflect that as Our Savior, the night before His passion, bequeathed His peace to His disciples, saying: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you,” so also after His resurrection, on three occasions He wished them His peace, saying: “Peace be to you.”
But what kind of peace is this that He so much inculcates and so earnestly desires to impart to us? Not the peace which the world pretends to give, which is false and deceitful like itself, they say, “Peace, peace, and there is no peace” (Ezech. xiii. 1o), but “the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding” (Philipp. iv. 7).
A threefold peace; namely, a peace of the soul with God, a peace with every neighbor, and a peace with oneself.
And first, whosoever desires any degree of happiness, either here or hereafter, must take care to keep an inviolable peace with God, by ever flying willful sin, which is at enmity with God. For how can there be any good for them that are at war with God.
‘Who hath ever resisted Him and hath had peace?” (Job. ix. 4).
“The wicked are like the raging sea, which cannot rest, and the waves thereof cast up dirt and mire: there is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord God” (Is. lvii. 20, 21).
PEACE WITH OUR NEIGHBOR
Reflect that the Christian cannot maintain his peace with God if he does not also “follow peace with all men” (Heb. xi. 14); “and as much as lies in him, keep peace with all men” (Rom. xii. i8).
“For as no man can love God that does not love his neighbor” (1 John iv.), so no man can be at peace with God that breaks peace with his neighbor.
It is, then, another branch both of the duty and of the happiness of a Christian to be at peace with every man, at least as far as lies in his power; to renounce all animosity and rancor, all discord and contention, all malice and envy, and whatsoever else is opposite to fraternal charity, and to learn to bear, and to forbear, which are the two great means of keeping peace with our neighbors…
When on our part we forbear giving them any offense or provocation, either by word or deed, and at the same time bear with Christian meekness and charity all the offenses or provocations we receive at their hands, and strive to overcome them by rendering good for evil.
Oh, how much happier is such a soul than one that is always at war with one neighbor or another, and always in a storm at home in his own interior!
PEACE WITH ONESELF
Another necessary branch of the Christian’s peace is, to be at peace within himself, by striving to banish from his own interior whatsoever may disturb the tranquility of his soul. This inward peace, when it is perfect, is a certain foretaste of heaven; it is a kind of heaven; it is a kind of heaven upon earth.
In such souls God is pleased to dwell, of whom the Royal Prophet sings (Ps. lxxv.), that “His place is in peace, and His abode in Sion.”
To come at this happy peace (besides taking care to keep peace with God by a clean conscience, and with every neighbor by concord and charity), we must have our passions mortified, our affections well-ordered and regulated, and our desires restrained; we must banish all hurry and over eagerness; all sadness and melancholy; all scrupulous fears, anxious cares, and uneasiness about the things of this world; and, above all things and in all things, we must conform ourselves to the holy will of God.
Practice these lessons, my soul, and thou wilt be at peace, at least as far as the condition of thy mortal pilgrimage will allow of.
Conclude ever to aim at this threefold peace, with thy God, with thy neighbor, and with thyself; pray daily for it; and whatsoever fear, affection, or desire, or any other thing whatsoever offers to disturb thy heart, shut the door against it as an enemy, as a messenger of Satan, who comes to rob thee of thy treasure, the peace of thy soul.
PEACE WITH JESUS IN THE SACRAMENT OF HIS LOVE
Sweet Jesus! by this Sacrament of Love
All gross affections from my heart remove;
Let but Thy loving kindness linger there,
Preserved by grace and perfected by prayer;
And let me to my neighbor strive to be
As mild and gentle as Thou art with me.
Take Thou the guidance of my whole career,
That to displease Thee be my only fear;
Give me that peace the world can never give,
And in Thy loving presence let me live.
Ah! show me always, Lord, Thy holy will
And to each troubled thought say, “Peace, be still.”
“The one who knows how to profit by his own errors is the one who makes a success of life. To be discouraged over your mistakes is foolish. To disregard them is equally unwise. To face them fearlessly and try to learn from them how to avoid a mistake next time is part of wisdom.” – Fr. Edward F. Garesche, Catholic Book of Character and Success, 1912, Painting by John George Brown
We should get used to extracting from ordinary day-to-day life whatever can increase our joy, rest, and legitimate satisfaction, and whatever can fill us with optimism. There is a thrill of joy and satisfaction in the thought that we are the objects of God’s love and can ourselves sincerely love Him…
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