Be at peace with your own soul,
then heaven and earth will be at peace with you.
Who except God can give you peace?
Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?
St. Gerard Majella
(an apple gourd—who knew??? / Julie Cook / 2022)
Ten some odd years ago when I started this little blog…when I began taking up
a tiny bit of residence in this endless space known as the blogosphere,
my desire was to share my personal ramblings of that of both journey
and transition…I was a teacher for heaven’s sake…we share by the sheer
nature of our trade!
And at that time, it just so happened that my life was one big journey
There was the new transition and journey into retirement.
While at the same time there was the sorrowful transition of walking
from that of life to that of death’s door with both my dad and my aunt.
There was the journey of handing a child’s hand, turned that of a
man, to that of another woman’s hand…the passing of a torch so to speak
from one to another.
There was the discovery of a real biological past…complete with names and faces.
Yet there was the renewed rejection of a birth mother to that of her adopted child.
There was the eventual addition of two new joyous lives into my own.
The filling up of one’s heart…a heart that had just shortly before felt so
sorrowfully full of loss.
There was a pandemic.
There was a new retirement.
There was moving.
There was divorce.
There was loss.
There was unfamiliar.
And so now, as I stop for a bit of introspection and reflection,
I think my thoughts have shifted just a tad.
As in my axis has tilted just a wee bit off from its normal rotation.
I’m finding the notion of Peace…be that peace within, as well as peace outward,
to be a more immediate focus.
I think that’s why the following observation by Thomas á Kempis
has resonated so deeply within this restless soul of mine this evening.
I don’t believe that our dear brethren Thomas is inferring, as so many observers
quickly and most falsely assume of our Christian faith….
that being that we must suffer in order to eventually acquire peace…
but rather I find it all to be quite to the contrary…
It is the notion that we should seek peace amidst the chaos of
this life…a feat short of the miraculous given our current day and times..
We mere mortals will all eventually endure some sort of suffering in this
life—some, more it may appear, than most.
Fair or unfair as it may be….yet suffering, be it just or unjust, there
it will be.
And so therefore, it should be our task to seek peace within such times
and within such circumstances as we may be currently finding ourselves.
For it will only be in that Peace…that we may find rest amidst the storm.
For if we do not seek we will never find nor know that there is indeed a
Peace far greater than any turmoil life can throw at us…
And so now we begin a new journey of transition…that of Peace…
Will you come walk this path with me?
“You must first have peace in your own soul before you can make
peace between other people.
Peaceable people accomplish more good than learned people do.
Those who are passionate often can turn good into evil and
readily believe the worst.
But those who are honest and peaceful turn all things to good
and are suspicious of no one….
It is no test of virtue to be on good terms with easy-going people,
for they are always well liked.
And, of course, all of us want to live in peace and prefer those
who agree with us.
But the real test of virtue and deserving of praise is to live
at peace with the perverse, or the aggressive and those who contradict us,
for this needs a great grace…
in this mortal life, our peace consists in the humble bearing
of suffering and contradictions,
not in being free of them, for we cannot live in this world without adversity.
Those who can best suffer will enjoy the most peace,
for such persons are masters of themselves,
lords of the world, with Christ for their friend,
and heaven as their reward.”
Thomas á Kempis, p.72-73