Those who are seized by the peace of Christ and who preserve peace in their hearts, radiate peace, give witness to peace and cooperate as much as possible in making peace attainable, are assured of great beatitude. “They shall be called sons and daughters of God” (Mt 5:9). They reveal themselves as genuine brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace. They find security and joy in God. For them it is happiness to lead people to God’s peace, and to peace among themselves. “The [Kindom] of heaven is theirs,” for the [kindom] of God is justice, peace, and joy, inspired by the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).
Bernard Häring, The Healing Power of Peace and Nonviolence, 23, (1)
quoted in the People’s Companion to the Breviary, 150
I read this excerpt last night before I went to sleep and it made sense to me. It may be because I had just read a short chapter on Mt 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice” in Javier Melloni’s El Cristo Interior. There, Melloni wrote,
“A Kingdom, maluk, that the Jews identified as the Great Shalom, the arrival of a peace that encompasses various areas: the personal, the family, the community, the political and also the cosmic, where everything returns to its original innocence. Jesus announces the arrival of the Kingdom, but it requires a complete conversion. Because this Kingdom is not only the culmination of all longings, but their transformation. The Kingdom which he announces is a state of communion with humanity and nature, where the identity of each does not usurp that of the others, rather it makes it possible, and where each existence is a channel for the others because they know they all are part of the divine energy: a continuous creating and begetting, a constant impulse to be.” (55,56)
In a way then, the Kingdom, its peace, its Shalom is a state of mind, a presence of heart, a willingness to be open to the flow of life, whatever it may bring.
Peace is a relevant theme today. I noticed it in my friend Fran’s blog this morning. I feel particularly touched by the current struggle in Palestine, between Israel and Gaza. I have friends adamantly for each opposing side. The only thing I can do is to open my heart to the sad state of each party, breathing in war and breathing out peace.
Finally, my inbox today had an e-mail with a quote from Joseph Campbell,
“Today the planet is the only proper “in-group”. Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”
Joy seems an ever-receding goal sometimes, but holding sorrows in my heart and allowing them to touch it and mold it and open it ever more will do for the time being. Until joy comes…
Art: Pablo Picasso, Peace Dove. Found here.