The world around us is far from peaceful. The division, violence, chaos can be overwhelming if we don’t take a step back to examine our own frame of mind. And without finding inner peace to calm the storm raging around us, we cannot be effective in spreading love and bringing about the change that the world so desperately needs.
It’s about more than just avoiding conflict or trouble. “We have to aim for the stars, or more accurately we have to have this attitude that the real peace is the peace that Jesus has given to us as a gift,” explained Msgr. Fred Dolan, Vicar of Opus Dei in Canada.
Being peaceful or unpeaceful people has more to do with our interior lives than current events or personal situations. When we are able to cultivate true and lasting peace within our own hearts, the ups and downs of the world aren’t nearly as rattling. The knowledge of God’s constant presence in your life can be a soothing reminder.
“It’s a matter of creating and preserving this interior peace. Ultimately, this interior silence and the conviction that we are not only in God’s presence, but we’re in the presence of someone who loves us irrevocably and more profoundly than we can imagine. Which means finding ways on a daily basis, from the beginning of the day, to remind ourselves, I am not only in the presence of the three persons of the Trinity, but they dwell within me,” said Msgr. Dolan.
You know the song that goes, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”? It really is true. If you want to bring peace into the family, community, and world around you, it needs to start in your heart. Imagine someone angrily yelling at you to calm down—not so peaceful, is it? But it’s much easier to deescalate a situation if someone responds in a calm and respectful manner. Isn’t that what the world needs?
Pope Francis spoke about this on Pentecost 2019, when he said, “The peace bestowed on the apostles, the peace that does not bring freedom from problems but in problems, is offered to each of us. Filled with his peace, our hearts are like a deep sea, which remains peaceful, even when its surface is swept by waves.”
It all boils down to embracing the Prince of Peace, the one who shows us the unending, limitless peace that we all long for. Take it to prayer—asking God to help you cultivate peace in your heart. Frequent the sacraments, practice meditation, and lead with love and forgiveness rather than hatred.
“I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33
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