Returning to… the Struggle of Peace!
“Holiness is attained with the help of the Holy Spirit, who comes to dwell in our souls, through grace given us by the sacraments and as a result of a constant ascetical struggle. My son, let us not have any false illusions about this. You and I—I will never tire of repeating it—will always have to struggle, always, until the end of our lives. So we will come to love peace, and we will spread peace around us, and we will receive our everlasting reward.” (1)
It’s time to get back to work, back to the grind of daily ministry, of seeing the list of prayer requests great me from being a week away. Glad to see some praises there as well, glad to see what people are thankful for in their lives. But it is time to get back to work.
It never really left of course. There were those in Rome that struggled with life, and with issues. There were people we met and talked to, who didn’t understand the magnificence of God’s glory, that was testified all around them in the artwork of mankind. But now I am home, with my family, with my church family, the people that have bonded together while we have sought peace.
Holiness is a struggle, and as St Josemarie says, an ascetical struggle. But I’ve come to realize ascetical isn’t about what you are giving up, it isn’t about sacrifice of things noble and good. It is the sacrifice of things which distract us from God, from His love, His mercy, His glory… and yes, the peace that we come to love. it is so counter-cultural to our world that we cannot grasp onto it easily. The televisions and music blaring, the things that crave attention of our senses. Each, if not focused on God, robs us of some of His peace. Each, if focused on God, draws us into that peace, into that life where it makes sense.
It’s good to be back, it’s good to look at Jude and the passage on which I shall preach tomorrow… it’s good, because even more than standing in the Basilicas of Rome, in the chapels, and in the oratory, it is here that I will find peace…. among the people I have been called to share that peace with,
It is a struggle, but a very joyous one. For God gathers us together, as His people, called and marked by His Name…into His presence… may we always recognize the glory that comes in such times.
It is good to be home!
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1647-1651). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.