Often we can feel anxious under various trials and can lack a sense of peace. Even the psalmist says to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Ps. 42:9) Yet the Lord does not abandon us to our “lack of peace”. Jesus tells us, “peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Peace is critical to victory in life. The dictionary defines peace as “freedom from disturbance, tranquil, calm.” I don’t like to be out of peace. I don’t think clearly when I’m “out of peace”. It’s hard to make decisions when we’re frazzled and not peaceful.
Pope Francis shares some helpful insights about the importance of peace in the midst of the spiritual battles we face.
“Peace is a Beatitude (Mt 5:9), and we seek it because in it and with it we must wage war for the kingdom. The Lord tells us: he has come to bring war (Mt 10:34). We are called to participate in this war he wages, for he granted a certain degree of power to the devil to take away peace from the earth (Rv 6:4). In the end, however, the God of peace will crush Satan (Rom 16:20). In this war against evil, peace fortifies our courage, and does not let us be intimidated by our adversaries (Phil 1:28). Above all, peace determines our style of combat, a style that is born in peace, battles in peace, and engenders peace.
“Peace is rooted in consolation: only one who has allowed himself to be consoled by the Lord knows how to console others. Finally, let us feel the Lord’s profound gaze of goodness come to rest upon us. He knows everything, and with tenderness he tells us: Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Pope Francis, “From In Him Alone Is Our Hope)
These are great insights about the importance of being at peace in the battle we all wage…. ”peace fortifies our courage, protects us from being intimidated, causes us to be consoled and to console others.”
We must work to be sure we are rooted in the peace of Christ at all time. Being out of peace can cause us to not see clearly, to make poor decisions. I would guess that Christ himself had to battle to maintain his peace in the midst of intense struggles. Perhaps the Lord’s many nights in prayer with his father were focused on maintaining and strengthening the peace that gave him confidence in “his father’s will being done.”
So let us not leave our times of prayer without the peace that passes all understanding. When we find ourselves out of peace in the midst of the day, let’s pause and pray and ask the Holy Spirit to restore our peace. We can then move forward in confidence. And that is very good news.