Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ruminating and Reflecting on Peace

Just polished off a plate of comfort food--tender roast beef, creamy mashed potatoes, and green beans with bacon, all smothered with a thick dark gravy.   It was medicinal and just what my body needed right now.

And so I lean back in my Okie armchair, take a good, deep breath, and ruminate and reflect on life.

Last night I wrote about suffering. Tonight I think I'll muse about peace, because I read recently that while the souls in purgatory suffer more than they did in this life, they are somehow actually simultaneously in an actual bona fide state of happiness.

Turns out that "somehow" is that they're in a state of perfect peace.  There is absolutely no disharmony or conflicts among the Holy Souls or with God.

I confess for years I've lacked a level of peace that should be becoming of a practicing Catholic.  I could lay out the series of conflicts and misfortunes years ago that tilted my soul away from the abiding peacefulness and easy-to-forgive attitude God singularly blessed me with in my youth--instead towards an attitude of tension, irritations, and even anger foreign to me in childhood.  But such corruptions of heart I think are common even among some of the most admirable men.

The young man emerges from the garden into the jungle.   The colors of the rainbow and warmth of the Sun give way to grey shadows and cold valleys.  Petty neighborhood childhood disputes are replaced by betrayal, malice, egoism, and cold wars.  Amidst all our shopping malls and ubiquitous sea of restaurants, in the middle of all the pleasure and prosperity is a constant battle between husbands and wives, siblings, friends, and coworkers.

If an abiding, spiritual, Christian peace is a prerequisite for happiness, even in the midst of the worst sufferings, then Id reckon most of us, including yours truely, are not exactly happy.

Can a paraplegic in constant pain be happy?  Can a man wrongly sentenced to life in prison for a murder he didn't commit be happy?  Yes and Yes, but humanism cant explain how.

Peace.  Suffering.  Happiness.  These are pieces to the puzzle of life that cant be fit together using human reason.  Philosophy or science cant solve the mystery of the paradox of life.  It takes Revelation from God, i.e. the Catholic Faith.

Part of me thanks God for this Faith; without it Im not sure how I could have so far coped with the jungle of adulthood.  The other part of me is mystified how anyone without Christ, without a spiritual life united to Him, is getting through this valley of years.

I want to be like the souls in purgatory.  Wanting 100% to embrace my crosses to do penance for my sins, but at the same time in a state of peace with God, my neighbor, and myself, and therefore to be truely happy.

Well its time for the evening rosary.  That's where I can work all this out.

3 comments:

  1. Lots of people love St Therese of the Child Jesus. The one thing she said that I always remembered was that she could no longer really suffer anymore because suffering united with God had become sweet for her. So in her agony she was very happy.

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