We live in a time where we find ourselves experiencing great anxiety, unrest, distrust and fear. Each waking morning it seems that we are overwhelmed with these and other feelings of despair. We often wonder will we ever get better, will things improve and can peace and harmony be restored?
In Paul’s letter to the Christians of Philippi he encourages them with a word that leads to peace. It is here that we have an opportunity for our own spiritual and emotional wellbeing. To find in Christ no anxiety but rather to experience peace and a spirit of truth, justice and love. So many are experiencing this anxiety and pain and seemingly have no place to turn. The effects of the Pandemic, economic and financial crisis, increase in racial disparity and violence, add to this the crisis of natural disasters deepen the consternation. With so much seemingly against us, how can enter into a place of Peace, Joy, Love?
This week we remember someone whose life was transformed by an encounter with Christ that led him, to live a life rooted in Peace that is ultimately shared through love of others. Saint Francis is man for our times. Having experienced the trauma of war as a knight, having endured sickness he found through an encounter with the suffering Lord the ability to renounce his wealth, and embrace with love the poor and to live a life of simplicity and peace.
We too can encounter the peace that God alone can give us. Even in the midst of such challenging times the peace of Christ is there for us if we simply seek Him. To seek to know Christ and the power of His love we can actually find in Him our very peace that we so desperately seek.
This week I had a beautiful experience of entering into the peace of Christ. As you may know my Mother died on February 28th. Life since her death has not been easy nor the same. Although I have four remaining siblings who are able to help at various levels, temporarily I chose to continue to care for my ninety one year old father. So being a care giver it has it challenges as well as rewards and blessings.
Living in a time of pandemic, economic challenges, racial unrest to say the least can be disruptive of the peace that I so often desire. Although we have adoration and Eucharist daily, I felt a need to take further time with the Lord. I decided to go the the retreat center of the Diocese and spend time in prayer, encountering the Lord in nature and praying my rosary. Moving myself to a place of quiet, free of all distractions including the cell phone, I felt such a deep experience of peace. I could free my mind, think about God’s action and direction in my life and be open to how the Lord will lead and guide me.
Peace can be attained, we need to dispose ourselves to allow the Lord to touch our hearts that he might guide us into that place where he can speak to the depths of our being. Allow Christ’s Peace to Guard your Hearts!