Our peace is found serving God and others
As we head into a full and sometimes frenzied holiday season, it is crucial for us to find moments of real peace. Our responsorial psalm, "In you, Lord, I have found my peace" (Psalm 131), reminds us it is in God that we find the peace we are seeking.
I find comfort in the words of St. Theresa of Avila about peace in God: "Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices." While these words are comforting, the question remains: How do we obtain peace?
In his encyclical, "Peace on Earth" ("Pacem in Terris"), St. Pope John XXIII teaches, "Peace is but an empty word, if it does not rest upon that order ... that is founded on truth, built up on justice, nurtured and animated by charity, and brought into effect under the auspices of freedom .... Human resources alone, even though inspired by the most praiseworthy good will, cannot hope to achieve it. God himself must come to man’s aid ..." (nos. 167-168). Therefore we can see that our efforts alone cannot obtain peace; we need the help of God.
Humility (from the Latin root "humus," or "of the earth") is a key given to us by Christ in the Gospel: "The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
When we are humble, we stand before God as we truly are, dependent children of a loving heavenly Father. Peace, it would seem, begins with realizing we are totally dependent upon God for all we have.
This realization leads us to want to reach out to those around us in need, for all we have is a gift. It is in this harmony, between who we are before God and who we are before others, that we experience the gift of God’s peace.
I pray that we all may find peace through our right relationship with God and others.
Father Timothy Forgét is pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Randolph and St. Mary of the Seven Dolors Parish in Osmond. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.