“Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?” -St. Gerard Majella
Peace of mind. Peace of heart. Like pure joy, I have known these states of being at fleeting times. Though I find as I grow older, as I strive less “to have” something, a state of stasis akin to peace is more and more a part of my days.
These past 18 days have – for the most part – been exceedingly peaceful as I spend my days in contemplation, prayer, reading and writing. Throw in the occasional walk or yoga session, and it is peaceful indeed.
But if I let myself get caught back up in meeting deadlines and other people’s expectations, in appointments that require cross-town traffic or projects with a time due on them, then my peace flees like a thief in the night who has made off with my most precious treasure.
Social media and news add an extra jarring element these days. If you read my blogs before these last 18 days, you will find that I already have been exceedingly disturbed by the introduction of a value system in this country that is completely transactional, meaningful only in how it benefits our President personally – through profit or self-aggrandizement – and that creates deeper political and personal divides among our citizenry.
And for all the anti-abortionists hoping Trump’s Presidency leads to overturn of Roe v. Wade, you cannot focus on one dimension of social justice at the expense of all its others. You cannot say life is precious in the womb, then treat others with careless disregard for their humanity, suffering and need.
It doesn’t work that way. And it will not make us a more peaceful society.
But I cannot control world events. I can pray for peace and healing, for an end to the disparities that create huge gaps in our lived experiences and hope in the “better angels” of our souls.
What I can and am attempting to do for the next 90 days is live within myself as much peace as I can possibly muster. Hopefully it will become a well-developed habit I can continue long after that “deadline” for my “challenge” has passed.
I am not running to win a race here; I am adopting an attitude of peace in my soul because I choose it. And because it has been promised.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John: 14-27