Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Peace Be With You

Peace.  That elusive element in all our lives that we spend so much time searching for really isn't all that elusive at all. 

We human beings tend to look for the things for which we most yearn in every place possible except the most likely of places.  In the matter of peace, we search out places, other people as companions, certain situations or settings and while we may actually find some sense of peace in these places, we can never seem to come to rest.

Since our beginnings, we have wrestled with chaos and peace.  The peace process is not an easy one, especially within ourselves.  Many of us are born into chaotic situations that make peace within ourselves a near impossibility.  Still others are born with what seems to be a wandering spirit, always unsettled, always searching.  We look for inner peace because inner peace leads to peace between peoples. 

The woes of the world, I believe, can be directly linked to the inability of a vast majority of us to find that inner peace for which our soul cries out for.  We are insecure beings, always looking over our shoulder for the approach of the enemy while often the enemy comes from within. 

It is hard to look inside in an honest fashion to discover what may stand in our way to our path toward peace.  It usually involves reliving to a certain extent painful memories of incidents that may have long since ended but whose effects still live on in our hearts.  Often, on our way to this inner peace, and thus, harmony with ourselves, we discover that we must forgive others or even, perhaps, ourselves.  This is a most difficult task that requires a great deal of energy, time, and most importantly, an honest love for ourselves in humility and understanding.  We must hold ourselves accountable for those things which stand in our way to peace.  And we must develop the ability to move on beyond our deepest wounds so that peace may provide the healing balm to our woundedness.

There is only one true source of this kind of peace and you cannot find it "somewhere."  You cannot touch this source as you might touch the softness of a newborn.  You cannot see its majesty as you can view the power of the mountains as the sun sets gently beyond the horizon.  This source is mystical and divine in nature and far beyond our poor power to explain or understand.  To experience this source requires the faith of a child and the observation of a hawk in flight.   It requires surrender to ourselves and our surroundings so that nothing interferes with our journey.  It has had no beginning and will have no end.  And, yet, there is no physical evidence of its existence, nor is there any proof that it acts in humanity.  Yet, we know that it does.  Who or what is this mysterious "it?"  God.

God is the source of all true peace.  His is the peace of the divine not the mortal.  His peace is beyond all understanding and is given freely to all who earnestly seek this gift.  Seeking the gift requires prayer, moments of contemplation, and study. 

Prayer allows us to open our hearts to God.  Every time we open our hearts to our Creator, our hearts become a little softer, our judgements a little less harsh.  Prayer unites us in mind and spirit with God and we are taken in to Him and encounter His peace.

But prayer is not the only thing we need to practice in order to acquire this peace.  We must be still.  Too often we bombard God with endless babble that we call prayer but which is really only our feeble attempt to cover physical silence with spiritual nonsense.  We must still our minds, being careful to eliminate all "clutter" and then, and only then, will we be able to clearly hear the voice of God. 

In addition, we must study the word of God as found in Sacred Scripture.  We must prayerfully contemplate the words of God to gain a deeper, more meaningful and realistic idea of who He is.  This takes time and persistence.  But it can be done and we will be the better for having done it.

Once we find the heart of God, we will have found the heart of peace.  Then we shall have discovered that peace that all of us yearns for.  And then, once we have become awash in God's peace, we can communicate that peace with others in our lives.  Harmony will follow, though not without difficulty.

Peace.  That elusive state of being and mind that seems to escape us all is quite attainable.  We have a God Who is more than willing to lead us to this state.  We simply must cooperate and follow His will.  Then, despite the chaos swirling around us at any given time, peace, true peace, shall be ours!