PEACE IS AN ATTITUDE OF THE HEART

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peace starts in the heartBy Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila

Peace, true peace is NOT the absence of war, or the absence of hatred. It is not a state of indifference or apathy. It is not the casual statement “Leave everything up to God.” Or “bahala na, it is of no concern to me, I don’t want to get involved.” The dictionary definition states that peace is tranquility, stillness, freedom from contention, violence or war.

But for me peace, true peace, cannot be confined to a definition. It is not something that can be stated in a treaty or agreement. It is not something that appears by magic, that exists when one talks about it or hopes for it. It is not something that we can demand as our right or impose on others.

If I want to be at peace, to live in peace, first I must recognize that peace represents the fullness of life; it is a basic attribute of God. I think that the only time there was true peace on earth was in the Garden of Eden before the serpent of disobedience and sin appeared. We might say that from that time of Eden until today, creation aspires to peace.

Over and over in the Scriptures we read that peace is the effect of the blessing that God bestows upon his people: “The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Num. 6:20). Even the holy angels in their song of glory at the birth of Jesus praised God saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will.” The promise of peace that runs throughout the Old Testament finds it fulfillment in Jesus, in his life, in his words, in his prayers.

Why am I sharing these few thoughts today on peace? With all the unrest and uncertainities of life in the world today, both those exaggerated in media and those buried in the chaos of life around us, I find myself disturbed, distracted and at times dispirited.

In my readings last night, I came across a saying by St. Augustine: “God created us without our aid; but he did not choose to save us without our aid.” And the light dawned on me.

peace quotation of St PioTrue peace must first exist in my heart. Peace must take root in the heart of each of us as individuals, if peace is to be a transforming factor in home, community and society. It only takes one person to disrupt the peace of a home, an organization, a community. If even a few do not understand that peace begins in one’s soul, or are not willing to make sacrifices for it, or lack the self-control or self-discipline real peace requires, then how can there be peace at home, in the community, in our society?

I believe that true peace, ideal peace, can be attained only when there is an attitude of peace in my heart, in your heart, in every individual’s heart, towards God, towards self, and towards others. This is the kind of peace Christ spoke of when he said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”

I pray that my heart and your heart be open and willing to embrace the peace of God, to live the peace of God, and to share His peace with others.

peace

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