Devotional Thought for our Days:
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
102 Peace, and the joy which comes with it, cannot be given by the world. Men are forever “making peace” and forever getting entangled in wars. This is because they have forgotten the advice to struggle inside themselves and to go to God for help. Then He will conquer, and we will obtain peace for ourselves and for—our own homes, for society and for the world. If we do things in this way, you and I will have joy, because it is the possession of those who conquer.And with the grace of God—who never loses battles—we will be able to count ourselves conquerors as long as we are humble.
I am looking out the window of a timeshare, at a schooner being driven by the wind. From a distance, it looks peaceful, calm, the stuff that makes a beautiful portrait or painting.
I am here, on a two day “sabbatical” of sorts, to plan for our Advent services, to find quiet, to get away and rest. A good friend lent me some of his timeshare points to do this, for which I am grateful. And so time away, to pray, to think, to meditate on the incarnation, to have, in a real way, a Sabbath rest.
But like the schooner in the distance, what may appear to be a peaceful time isn’t. The master watches the sales, the quartermaster/pilot is considering the terrain, listening for directions, the sailors working hard to ensure all goes well. And I am tempted to do the same. To think through all the problems and challenges I am escaping from for a brief moment. To think of the chores and the work that will await my return. It is too tempting for my mind to return there, while my body is here.
Dear St. Josemaria is correct, we try to “make peace” but only cause more riots, more violence, more sin. Rather than go to God, who has supplied our peace, we try to create it on our own. We try to even manipulate the silence when we encounter it.
Scripture calls us to something different, a life that is peaceful because God has conquered us internally first, To know and rejoice that He rules over our hearts, that He has come there, even in the dark recesses where our lives truly aren’t peace-filled, but hectic. Those places that we struggle to control, or having crashed our ships on the rocks, struggle to keep afloat.
There is something different that happens when we can relax in His presence. We can allow Him to be the master of our life. We can take a moment to enjoy the Spirit breathing life into us, providing the power and guidance. We can trust God to do all that is necessary, as He moves us from one place to another. as he reconciles our life to His.
It is then we find peace, even in the midst of storms and waves that would threaten us. For it is not a human peace we have made, it is His peace, a peace which will pass all understanding, but in which we shall live, Amen!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 568-575). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.