We live in a day and age where achieving peace in one’s soul can be very difficult due to the hectic everyday life around us. Often times we can find ourselves consumed with anxiety and worry which can make our lives very difficult and often times can affect our ability to find true peace in God and the joy that comes from serving others.
Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?
–Saint Gerard Majella
We can live each day by confronting these worries and anxieties and entrusting them at the foot of the cross. So how can I overcome the obstacles in our lives that inhibit our spiritual progress, and allow us to continue on our journey without fear or anxiety, but with complete faith and trust in God? We first must be convinced of the good that comes from God and Him alone. We are powerless without God’s grace. Often times in life we have to experience failures, trials or humiliations in order to realize this truth. By allowing God’s grace to act in us our lives will produce fruits for the good of those around us. The more our soul is peaceful the more God is reflected in it.
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
–St. Francis de Sale
Every Christian must be convinced that his spiritual life is the scene of a constant and sometimes painful battle—a struggle against evil, temptation and the sin that is in him, which will continue throughout his earthly life. The first goal of spiritual combat is not to always obtain a victory (over our temptations, weaknesses, etc.); rather, it is to learn to maintain peace of heart under all circumstances, even in the case of defeat. In this way we can pursue the greater goal, which is to eliminate our failures, our faults, our imperfections and our sins.
Purity of heart is a necessity which permits the grace of God to carry us, little by little to perfection. However, it also requires of us that we become detached from all that is contrary to the will of God on a continual basis. We can see the humble, simple and joyful acknowledgment of God’s mercy and love in St. Therese’s own uncomplicated life. We must rely on God’s trust and in his mercy, “your heavenly Father knows what you need” (Mt 6:32).
“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”
If we detach ourselves from everything and put all into the hands of God, God will return all to us a hundredfold. St. John of the Cross shares with us that “All things were given to me from the moment when I no longer sought them.” Strive for perfection, but never become discouraged! St. Therese of Lisieux teaches us that “small things done with love and to please God are extremely beneficial in making us grow.
St Padre Pio commented that ‘peace is the simplicity of spirit, the serenity of conscience, the tranquility of the soul and the bond of love. Peace is order, it is the harmony in each one of us, it is a continual joy that is born in witnessing a clear conscience, and it is the holy joy of a heart wherein God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection, or, even better, in peace dwells perfection’.