PEACEFULNESS AND SERENITY
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.
Sit still…..Relax…….Do not rush………
Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……
Settle into silence, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in such quietness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence, solitude…to just being here and now without having to accomplish something.
Settle into peacefulness…abide in serenity!
Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well.
Be alert! Stay awake! God is breaking into your history now.
Advent is a time of waiting, of eager longing for the Messiah, for the one who can heal us, save us, make us whole. In waiting, we must await God coming at His time, in His season, in His way. In waiting, we may often wait alone. Others may leave, may give up, may not care, may be busy about many things. But we must wait in silence, in solitude, in prayer. We must wait empty, open, poor, hungry, thirsty, longing……
We must make space for the Messiah – HE COMES.
The season of Advent invites us to consider the weeks of preparation for Christmas as an opportune time for cultivating an Advent spirituality — a spiritual posture of waiting and longing for Jesus, a posture of peacefulness and serenity, praying and preparing for his ultimate appearance among us. Joy and hope-filled anticipation are to characterize all our Advent days and nights, for Jesus is the loved one whose coming we await. Because he who comes is the prince of peace, we who await him must cultivate peacefulness and serenity and give ourselves over to the work of peace.
The season of Advent invites us to be men and women of peace!
Cultivate peacefulness…Serenity within!
Peacefulness is found in the depth of our being. “Peacefulness” is not a passive, quiet and idle presence in the world, unconcerned about what happens around us. Peacefulness is not insensitivity……it makes us more sensitive. Peacefulness is not inactivity…it makes us more active, more dynamic. Peacefulness is not being still and inattentive….it is being still and vigilant. Peacefulness is not ignoring or condoning injustice, violence and war……it is active and dynamic participation in creating and nurturing justice and peace in the world. Peacefulness is war against injustice, violence and war without violence.
The Prophet Isaiah had a beautiful vision of the Lord’s house being established as the highest of all mountains, raised above all hills, to which all nations would came. On this mountain, he says, a sense of brotherhood, harmony and peace would come, peacefulness will be the reality and not the ideal that we wish or strive for. The Prophet announced that all instruments of destruction would be turned into creative, life-giving instruments, “sword into plowshares…..spears into pruning hooks……..” From this vision came the call of Isaiah to “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:1-5)
The prophet again described the joy that would come when the righteous ruler reigns. In his day the prophet says, “the desert and the parched land will exult……strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak…the eyes of the blind will opened….mute will sing……they will meet with joy and gladness and sorrow and mourning will flee” (Is. 35:1-10). The whole cosmos will reflect the joy of a redeemed people. God will do what the world thinks impossible.
Peacefulness will be the reality that he Messiah ushers in. We are challenged today to open ourselves to the possibility of a world transformed by the coming of Christ, the prince of peace, peacefulness incarnate.
We are challenged to discover and rediscover the secret of joy and peace that lives within us. That joy and peace are God’s gifts, the divine resource, as it were, waiting to be tapped into, experienced and enjoyed. God has not abandoned us, His people. He has NOT given up on us. This is a source of peacefulness and serenity. So, we SHALL NOT give up on ourselves or on others or on the world.
The prophet Zephaniah called his people to rejoice because, “The Lord is in our midst”. “Shout for joy! Sing! Be glad! Fear not!”. Be happy! Because “The Lord is near”….. “they will rest with no one to disturb them” (Zephaniah 3:11-18).
Paul encouraged the Thessalonian community to make “rejoicing” a habit. “Rejoice always”, Paul says. (I Thess. 5:16-24). He encouraged the Philippian converts, “Rejoice in the Lord always!” Because “The Lord is near”! (Philippians 4:4-7)
St. Paul advises us: Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice. Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is near. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
I invite you to join me in my Prayer for you today. Make this your prayer during the rest of the season of Advent.
God’s word became flesh, full of Grace and truth. I pray for you that you will be full of Grace and truth, that God’s word of love will continue to become flesh in you, that your life will be a blessing and Grace for others.
I wish you Peace – God’s Peace. Peace in your hearts, peace in your homes, peace in your community, peace in your country, peace in the world. I pray for you that you may have peace in your hearts, you may think peace, feel peace, speak peace. You may have a word of peace for your spouse, for your children, your neighbor……You be men and women of peace. May your presence proclaim God’s Peace.
I wish you what the Angels proclaimed to the shepherds in Bethlehem; “Peace and Good Will to all”. I pray that you will continue to hear and proclaim it in your own way: “Peace and Good will”. Be men and women of Peace and Good Will.
I pray that you will be men and women of honor and men and women who will honor God, honor truth, honor goodness, honor love, honor peace, honor yourself, honor each other.
I pray that you will bring out the best from you and learn to bring out the best in each other. Your best for your spouse, for your children, for your neighbor. Be your best. Gift your best. Do your best. And leave the rest to the Lord.
May your word be affirming and not putting down; creative and not destructive; encouraging and not discouraging; healing and not breaking; life-giving and not death dealing; peacemaking and not conflict building, loving and not hating, gentle and not oppressive………..
May you be Safe. May your home be safe. Make your home a safe place, a sanctuary for yourself, for your spouse, for your children, for your parents, for your neighbors. Be safe! Look out for each other’s safety!
- May your country be safe. May you do all you can to keep it safe. May you do all you can to keep the world safe for yourself and for all.
Lord, please send us Your Holy Spirit during this season of Advent and open our hearts once again to your Word of Love and Compassion. Help us to take the time to listen to your Word. Enable us to seek You in the silence and solitude of our hearts, our homes and our churches. Help us find you in the busy and the exiting moments of our Advent and Christmas preparations.
Lord, we pray that you help us take time to be with our loved ones, to listen to their hearts, to hear the message of their hearts sometimes hidden behind their words, to appreciate their dignity and worth and that of each person who crosses our path during this Holy Season.
Lord, watch over our loved ones near and far, be with those who stray, heal the sick and the suffering, protect the simple, the innocent and the less privileged, protect those who protect us at home and abroad. Bring peace to every part of our world, every room of our homes, and every corner of our hearts.
Dear God, Thank You for this day, its beauty and its light. Give us your light and enable us to recognize the good that is available everywhere. Give us your peace that we may be channels of your peace for all.
To have peace, you must be PEACEFUL.
You can choose PEACE in all situations.
Nothing in the world can disturb the PEACE you nurture within.
Welcome others to join you in PEACEFULNESS AND SERENITY!
If you want peace, be peaceful…..teach yourself to take a completely different approach, a gentle approach, a “peacefulness approach”.
If you want to experience peacefulness, begin from a posture of peace. However, be prepared to stay in that posture for as long as it takes.
My Prayer for you:
May you fearlessly dream, speak, stand and work for justice and peace!
May you make no peace with oppression, injustice, violence or war!
May you strive to be a shining witness of reconciliation, harmony and peace!
May you reach across boundaries and barriers to form community with all people!
May you be a peaceful person and may your presence bring peace!
And may God, who has loved you without measure, fill you with blessings and grace and the experience of the joyful communion of the saints of God……..and be “peace” for all!
If you find yourself in a situation where there are no peaceful persons, strive to be a peaceful person and if you find yourself in a situation where there are no peacemakers, strive to be a peacemaker.
Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs