BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.
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……Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect..
Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness 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.
Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..
It’s time to rest with God……to rest in God. This hour…..this moment…..rest in God. Good-bye to all goals, projects, structures, situations, feelings, thoughts….I am in meditation, in contemplation, resting in God, abiding in God.
Today’s meditation is on the farewell gift of Jesus: The gift of PEACE.
He said that this was not the kind of peace the world would give. It is enduring peace, lasting peace, eternal peace. The word for peace used in this context is “shalom” and shalom means “total Well-being”, “the highest good”, “that which befits God”. It is not the absence or the end of war or conflict. It is the presence of shalom, even in the midst of tension. This is the kind of peace, shalom that Jesus experienced in loving and fulfilling the Father’s will.
Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you. Jn. 14:27
Blessed are the peacemakers. They will become sons of God. Mt. 5:9
Be compassionate as our Father is compassionate. Lk.6:36
Peace is God’s gifts, the divine resource, as it were, waiting to be tapped into, experienced and enjoyed.
The Peace that lives within empowers us to go on in hope, even when storms of life disrupt relationships, incredible tragedies happen, mega-companies lie and cheat the public, ministers of God sin and abuse their privileges and so on.
The Peace that lives within remains an ever renewable “wellspring of courage” because that Peace is of God and that peace is God himself.
“Seek what you seek, but not where you seek it. Your heart has been made for God and it shall be restless until it rests in Him”. (St. Augustine)
Remember……..Deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental truth of God, of the Sacred Presence, of Sacred Love, of Sacred peace. It may be obscured by many things, but it sure is there for us to touch, to feel, to experience, to celebrate – to dwell, to rest, to abide………
Let us re-call and re-member our earlier reflections on peace as the quality of our inner being, as a state of being in harmony with all, as an attitude that brings us into communion with God and all that is of God and form God……
In Hebrew, the word for Peace is “Shalom” and it does not refer to a negative state – it does not mean the absence of trouble. Peace – Shalom – always meant everything which constitutes the highest good of man, the total well-being of man.
In the east when one says to another, “Salaam”, or shalom, he does not mean that he wishes for the other person the absence of evil things – he wishes him the presence of good things. In the Bible, Peace is not only the absence of or freedom from trouble – but the presence and enjoyment of all good that is of God and from God.
The Peace that Jesus spoke of comes not from evasion of issues – it comes from facing them, dealing with them and conquering them.
The Peace that Jesus offers is not passive acceptance of things – but active, creative, dynamic facing them, dealing with them – the making of peace, even when the way of peace is a struggle.
Jesus said, Peace-makers will be called “Sons of God”, God-like persons, doing God-like work. The person who works for peace is engaged in work which the God of peace is doing (Rom.15:33; 2Cor.13:11; I Thess.5:23).
Shalom, Peace means everything which constitutes the highest good of “man”. It means making the world a little better place to live in, lifting others a little more, lifting the world a little further on.
“Die when I may, I would like it to be said of me that I always pulled up a weed and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” (Abraham Lincoln)
The Jewish Rabbis held that the highest task, which a man can perform, is to establish right relationship between man and man – peacemaking, the force that binds/unites – the force that brings harmony.
Peace is the most human dream of all….Peace was the dream of the Jews…….Peace was always the dream of Christians…Peace was the dream of all sages….. Peace is the dream of all religions…..humanity has a common good which belongs to all: Peace.
Jesus said, “Peace is my farewell to you. My peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful.” (John 14:27)
Peace is a gift of God…… Peace is a dream….Peace is a faith…Peace is a hope….Peace is a love…Peace is a passion….such peace can not be dissipated by men and women…nor by war and violence…….it’s God’s gift!
The dream of peace lives in the heart of humanity even when they are living within the most atrocious wars….Peace stands firm as a faith, as a hope, as a love, as a passion……
Dream peace…breathe peace…..think peace…. speak peace…..sing peace…give peace…..make peace….contemplate peace….
A great Russian mystic, St. Seraphim of Sarov used to say: “acquire peace in you and thousands around you will find it”. We must never underestimate the force of that peace that comes from the heart!
Christian peace is a preventive peace…it is a peace that resists war and that longs and waits for the day when weapons will be silent.
Welcome the gift of peace that comes form the Gospel…the gift that Jesus promised…read and pray and live the Gospel every day…take the Gospel seriously!
Those who read and pray the Gospel must keep their hearts open to peace: to the great peace and to the little daily peace.
Dream peace and let your dream come to life! Dream peace and discover that you have a force, a power inside…a force that reconciles people, a force that resists violence, a force that tolerates differences, a force that brings harmony into chaos, a force that helps you transcend differences………a force that helps you to gradually and tenaciously build peace!
Peace is possible! Believe it! Love it! Be passionate about it!
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. Finally, brothers, your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous or worthy of praise. Live according to what you learned and accepted what you heard me say or seen me do.
Then will the God of peace be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: they will be called sons of God”
Re-member our reflections on “peacemaking” and dwell on them for some time……
Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring forgiveness and healing.
Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring wholeness and integrity
Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring harmony, unity, and purity.
Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring their best to the world.
Blessed are the peacemakers: they will bring the best out of others.
Blessed are the peacemakers: their presence brings joy.
Blessed are the peacemakers: they bring no harm to others.
The heart of peacemakers is like the heart of God – LOVE, pure and simple.
A great Jewish teacher Hillel taught, “If you find yourself in a situation where there are no human beings, strive to be a human being”. In the same manner, if you find yourself in a situation where there are no peaceful persons, strive to be peaceful person and if you find yourself in a situation where there are no peacemakers, strive to be a peacemaker.
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me; Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take, Let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth. And Let it begin with me.
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!
And may God who has loved you without measure fill you with blessings and grace and the experience of joyful communion of the saints of God……..
Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs