Thursday, July 14, 2016

Peace of Soul

Searching for and Maintaining Peace

I just got in from tending to the garden after arriving home from work.  The Asian radishes were a flop (besides 1 or 2 good sized ones I'll cook using this recipe: RECIPE).  Lots of big, floppy, wild-looking leaves with next to nothing of a radish at the end.  My estimation is that I hurriedly planted the seeds too close together one evening in May.  I can recall that evening having a bit of disharmony in my soul as I frenetically tried to check off another item on my daily To-Do List.


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Lesson learned: it is essential to a successful garden crop to not plant too many seeds, or too close together. Radish overpopulation spells puny radishes.

Searching for Peace:

Which leads me to the topic of this post: "Searching for and Maintaining Peace."  As much as my exaggerated ego would  like to take credit for this excellent theme, it is instead the title of an excellent traditional Catholic book on the spiritual life, by Fr. Jacques Philippe (Order here:  ANGELUS PRESS).

My wife leant (hint, hint: recommended) this book to me the other day, and I said "Why not?"  Two chapters in, I've seen the Light. Wow, what an angelically simple presentation of the Interior Life.

quote-for-every-man-peace-of-soul-is-precious-with-those-who-have-attained-peace-of-soul-the-nikolaj-velimirovic-77-71-92.jpg (850×400)I will do you a service and succinctly summarize what I've re-discovered in its first pages.  Happiness in life depends entirely on God working through us, but the fruitfulness of our life absolutely requires that we possess an interior "peace of soul."  The author compares the soul to the surface of a lake; in order for it to reflect most clearly and beautifully the sky (i.e. God in this analogy), the water must be calm and even.  Choppy water results in a blurred image.

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Peace of Soul

Also, says Fr. Philippe, the path to peace is through war.  The Christian commonly makes the big mistake of choosing the wrong subjects of life to wage war against.  Rather, the Christian puts on the armor of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation to defeat sin, selfishness, worldliness.  The mistake is to wage war against the natural ills of daily life and society; instead the TARGET is INSIDE ourselves.  The enemy is discord, or lack of peace in our soul!

Last point he makes in the first chapters:  if God will work perfectly through us, to produce the best, happiest life--in this life and the next--then we must not wage war against our own weaknesses or daily failures.  We must accept them in stride, and seek total abandonment to God through daily prayer.

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St. Thomas' definition of Peace: "The tranquility of order, particularly in the will."

That said, may I grow in peace of soul that the harvest of my life is abundant!  And hopefully in August when I plant new seeds for the Fall garden, I won't be in such a hurry.



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