St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

Oswald Sobrino at Catholic Analysis has a thoughtful post on Authentic Peace. Very timely indeed as our thoughts are turned away in detest from violence and are more actively attuned to peace. It brought to mind one of my favorite writers, Thomas a' Kempis and what he says about peace in Imitation of Christ. In fact, oddly, (or perhaps Godly that is), I had planned on sharing a couple of "peace" excerpts from Imitation with the mothers of our Catholic homeschooling support group this upcoming week. Coincidence? Only God's plan works out this way, doesn't it?


Imitation of Christ: Book Two, The Third Chapter, Goodness and Peace in Man

FIRST keep peace with yourself; then you will be able to bring peace to others. A peaceful man does more good than a learned man. Whereas a passionate man turns even good to evil and is quick to believe evil, the peaceful man, being good himself, turns all things to good.

The man who is at perfect ease is never suspicious, but the disturbed and discontented spirit is upset by many a suspicion. He neither rests himself nor permits others to do so. He often says what ought not to be said and leaves undone what ought to be done. He is concerned with the duties of others but neglects his own.

Direct your zeal, therefore, first upon yourself; then you may with justice exercise it upon those about you. You are well versed in coloring your own actions with excuses which you will not accept from others, though it would be more just to accuse yourself and excuse your brother. If you wish men to bear with you, you must bear with them. Behold, how far you are from true charity and humility which does not know how to be angry with anyone, or to be indignant save only against self!

It is no great thing to associate with the good and gentle, for such association is naturally pleasing. Everyone enjoys a peaceful life and prefers persons of congenial habits. But to be able to live at peace with harsh and perverse men, or with the undisciplined and those who irritate us, is a great grace, a praiseworthy and manly thing.

Some people live at peace with themselves and with their fellow men, but others are never at peace with themselves nor do they bring it to anyone else. These latter are a burden to everyone, but they are more of a burden to themselves. A few, finally, live at peace with themselves and try to restore it to others.

Now, all our peace in this miserable life is found in humbly enduring suffering rather than in being free from it. He who knows best how to suffer will enjoy the greater peace, because he is the conqueror of himself, the master of the world, a friend of Christ, and an heir of heaven.


Book Four, Twenty-Third Chapter
Four Things Which Bring Great Peace


The Voice of Christ:
MY CHILD, I will teach you now the way of peace and true liberty.

Seek, child, to do the will of others rather than your own.

Always choose to have less rather than more.

Look always for the last place and seek to be beneath all others.

Always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you.

Behold, such will enter into the realm of peace and rest.

2 comments:

Esther said...

Mahalo nui loa Denise. You couldn't have posted this at a better time.

Lynn said...

I am forever learning this over and over again. I never tire of the reminder!
God Bless you and yours.