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Anxieties might be a time of growth and God might be taking away your ‘peace,’ says pope



Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/15/20

Pope Francis considers "Blessed are the peacemakers" to recall that Christ's peace is not the same as the world's feeling of calm and tranquility

Pope Francis continued with his catechesis series on the Beatitudes, taking up today the 7th — “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” — and noting that it “is the most active. It is explicitly operative. The verbal expression is analogous to that used in connection with creation in the first verse of the Bible. It indicates initiative and industriousness.”

The Holy Father devoted the audience to understanding what peace really is.

We must orient ourselves between two ideas of peace: the first is the biblical one, where the beautiful word shalòm appears. It expresses abundance, luxuriousness, well-being. When one wishes shalòm on someone in Hebrew, the desire is that of a life that is beautiful, full, prosperous, but also one in accord with truth and justice which would have its fulfilment in the Messiah, the Prince of Peace (cfr Is 9:6; Mic 5:4-5).

But, today, peace does not mean “shalom” for most of us. Instead it is “understood as a sort of interior tranquility: I am calm, I am at peace.”

“This,” the pope said, “is a modern, psychological and more subjective idea. This peace is commonly understood as quiet, harmony, internal equilibrium.”

Pope Francis said that this meaning of “peace” is “incomplete and cannot become an absolute because anxieties in life may be an important time to grow.”

Very often it is the Lord Himself who sows restlessness in us so that we might go towards Him, to find Him. In this sense it is an important moment of growth, whereas it may be that interior tranquility might correspond to a tamed conscience rather than to true spiritual redemption. There are many times when the Lord must be a “sign of contradiction” (cf Lk 2:34-35), shaking up our false securities to bring us to salvation. And in that moment it seems that we do not have peace, but it is the Lord Who places us on this path to arrive at the peace that He Himself will grant us.

The Holy Father emphasized that we “must remember that the Lord means that His peace is different than the human one, that of the world, when He said: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you’ (Jn 14:27). That of Jesus is another peace, different to the worldly one.”

Read more:
Pope calls us to leave aside false securities

The “shalom” of the Bible, the “true interior equilibrium” in fact “flow from the peace of Christ that comes from His Cross and generates humanity anew,” Francis said.

It has been incarnated in an infinite host of inventive and creative Saints who, out of love, fashioned always new ways. The Saints who build peace. This life as children of God, which by the blood of Christ goes in search to find one’s brothers and sisters, is true happiness. Blessed are those who take this path.


Read more:
Full text of Pope Francis’ homily of Holy Saturday: On our right to hope

Pope Francis
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