How high do we value having peace within ourselves? Come to think of it, not high at all. When we start out in adult life, few would pursue inner peace as their ultimate goal. When we are young, full of adrenalin and passionate, we chase our individual dreams. We can afford battle bruises; heartbreaks are part of the price in pursuit of a materially comfortable lifestyle. The irony for many of us is we begin only to look for peace in the cycle of achievements when each victory was met with an increasing hollowness within self.
This is a wisdom of life, the wisdom from life.
We are created beings given a human nature. It is natural to compete in our worldly environment. In truth, Love accompanies us into each pursuit, cheering us on in victory and offering consolation in every crushed dream. We are never left alone on our journey through life. Because we are beings created out of love, by Love, it is also in our nature to wander through life in search of the path that will lead us home to our Creator. On this path of life inseparable spiritual nature supports human nature.
St. Augustine in Confessions offered this wisdom, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Peace is not the ultimate prize we fight for when we are young. Our human nature deviates far from its spiritual nature. Like a pigeon the Creator allows us to fly as far as our dreams will carry us. Until restlessness sets into our worldly life. Like a homing pigeon we begin to search for our way back to our Creator. Peace is what we first try to find.
“Follow me”, the Risen Christ says this to us all the time. The material world will never fulfil us. Wisdom through battle bruises and aging tell us that. Yet each one of us is gifted the freedom to pursue. He generously accompanies us on our pursuits even if he is most times ignored. When we are ready to fly home, we find him faithfully waiting. This is the nature of our God of Love.
Finding peace. “Follow me” does not fly us onto a path of earthly riches. It leads us onto a path of love where we will experience life in a way to tell us worldly riches are less significant than they actually are. The path begins with loving our self a little less and the other person a little more. “Follow me” is not sacrifice, it is a way, the only way to find peace.
If peace is inner calm despite external turmoil, then it must follow that to find peace we cannot battle conflict with conflict. In every life situation we are never in total control. We must surrender to this humility and trust in the Risen Christ. We must be in earnest gratitude and appreciate what we already have. If we want to win the next argument, it is better to lose it. Only then can we find rest, and find peace.
“Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you” (Today’s Gospel)
6th Sunday of Easter