Saturday, March 7, 2015

My Peace I give you



 Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Adore the Lord by uniting all your desires to one end - the embrace of the Divine Will with trust in God's Providence.  In this alone will the peace of the Kingdom be established in your hearts.  Happy are those who understand that His peace is not the peace of this world and have learned to live in the depths.  A city of peace will rise up in your hearts that no one and no thing can steal from you.  The sign of this is a great calm and tranquillity in the face of all trial.

When we thus submit ourselves entirely to Christ Jesus, when we abandon ourselves to Him, when our soul only responds, like His own, with a perpetual Amen to all that He asks of us in the name of His Father; when, after His example, we abide in this attitude of adoration before all the manifestations of the divine will, in face of the least permissions of His Providence, then Christ Jesus establishes His peace in us: His peace, not that which the world promises, but the true peace which can only come from Himself: Pacem meam do vobis; non quomodo mundus dat, ego do vobis. Indeed, such adoration produces in us the unity of all desires. The soul has but one thing in view: the establishing in her of Christ’s kingdom. Christ Jesus, in return, satisfies this desire with magnificent plenitude . The soul possesses the perfect contentment of her deepest tendencies because the satisfaction of her supernatural desires has been reduced to one; she is in the right order of things; she lives in peace. Happy the soul who has thus understood the order established by the Father, that soul who seeks only to be conformed by love to His admirable order, where all leads up to Christ Jesus: she tastes peace, a peace of which St. Paul says that it surpasses all understanding and defies all expression. Doubtless, here below, peace is not always sensible; upon earth we are in a condition of trial and, most often , peace is won by conflict. Christ has not restored to us that original justice which established harmony in Adam’s soul, but the soul that lays hold on God alone participates in the divine stability; temptations , sufferings, trials touch only the surface of our being; the depths where peace reigns are inaccessible to disturbance. The surface of the sea may be violently agitated by the waves during the tempest; the deep waters remain tranquil. We may be slighted, opposed, persecuted, be unjustly treated, our intentions and deeds may be misunderstood; temptation may shake us, suffering may come suddenly upon us; but there is an inner sanctuary which none can reach; here is the sojourn of our peace, because in this innermost secret of the soul dwell adoration, submission and abandonment to God. “I love my God,” said St. Augustine, “no one takes Him from me: no one takes from me what I ought to give Him, for that is enclosed within my heart. . . . O inward riches which no one or anything can take away!” In the centre of the soul that loves God there rises up the civitas pacis which no noise of earth can trouble, that no attack can surprise. We may truly say that nothing which is exterior, outside us, can, unless we so will, touch our inward peace: this essentially depends on only one thing, namely, our attitude towards God. It is in Him that we must trust. “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” If the wind of temptation and trial arises, I have only to take refuge with Him. “Lord, save me, for without Thee, I perish.” And our Lord, as formerly when in the ship tossed about by the waves, will Himself calm the tempest with a single gesture; and there will come “a great calm”: Et facta est tranquillitas magna. If we really seek God in everything, by following in the footsteps of Christ, Who is the sole way that leads to the Father; if we strive to be detached from all, that we may only desire the Master’s good pleasure; if, when the Spirit of Jesus speaks to us, there is in us no inflexibility of soul, no resistance to His inspirations, but only docility and adoration, we may be assured that peace , deep and abundant, will reign in us; for, O Lord, “much peace have they that love Thy law”: Pax multa diligentibus legem tuam.

Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, Part II, chapter 18, sections 2 and 3

Marmion, Blessed Columba