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The Blessed Virgin Mary ~ Our Lady of Beauraing
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His presence is our peace

Prayer Vigil for Priests

JEFFREY BRUNO

Sr. Maris Stella, SV - published on 11/07/22

When you find yourself in a cascade of negative thoughts and emotions, lonely, anxious, or overwhelmed, take up arrows against the enemies of our peace ...

There is a story of a wise sage who would instruct his followers in the most surprising ways. One day, his students found him searching for a lost item in the crowded marketplace. They all got down on the ground to join him in the search. After hours of searching, the lost item was not found. One student asked the sage, “Are you sure you lost it here?” The sage responded, “Oh no, I lost it in my house. But my house is dark and there is much more light out here.” The exasperated students caught the lesson: So often we look for things in places where they can not be found. The peace we are searching for is found in the God who desires to make His “home in us” (Jn 14:23). We do not have to go searching the world to find it. 

Peace is not merely a life without conflict; rather, it is what St. Augustine describes as “the tranquility of order.” Our God is a God of order. When He created the world, He formed man in a garden, a place of beauty and concord, rather than the wilderness. This intentionality is a revelation of the peace He desires for His creation. In the garden, man lived in harmony with God, himself, and the created world (cf. CCC 374). When man turned from God, sin entered the world, and this harmony was lost. This pattern repeats itself in our own lives when we turn from God; sin scatters, divides, and disintegrates us from God and our innermost selves. Yet God’s ways will not be frustrated; His plan is to unite all things in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10). When our lives are ordered toward Him, we give Him the space to activate His plan for peace in our lives. He will integrate all our scattered pieces and bring peace to the innermost places of our being. Yet, we must have the courage to enter into our own hearts.

It can be challenging to enter into the depths, to be still and know that He is God. Outside of God’s grace we are in the wilderness, and where sin darkens our minds and causes confusion. Yet, through the sacrament of confession, our hearts are swept clean and reordered. Living in a state of grace, free from mortal sin, we discover within ourselves a home that is warmly lit with the gentle light of Christ. 

God has the power to work miracles of healing, redemption, and restoration in our lives. He wants to rescue us from the wilderness and return us to a place of harmony in the garden. As we encounter Him in prayer and the sacraments, He transforms the barren, rugged and desolate places in our souls and bestows His peace. Be not afraid! Allow Him to bring you on an interior journey, and discover the peace that the world cannot give. 

The Word of God can pierce through the turbulence in our minds and guide us to the safe harbors of restored order. As a way to maintain peace, the desert fathers recommended “prayer darts,” or aspirations, throughout the day — short prayers that we send up to heaven as we engage in spiritual combat. Praying the rosary or reciting Scripture verses can break unhealthy thought patterns and shift our gaze from the passing things of this world to what is eternal. When we imbed the Word of God into our memory it becomes a part of our identity, we can draw from this wellspring of life in time of trial. When you find yourself in a cascade of negative thoughts and emotions, lonely, anxious, or overwhelmed, you can take up these verses like arrows against the enemies of our peace. 

“Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10)

“Behold, I am with you always even until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps 23:1-4)

“You will not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still, and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf” (2 Chr 20:17).

“Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.”

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” (Jer 31:25)

The Prologue of the Gospel of John

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