February 13, 2022

On one of my first visits to a Jesuit house, I felt a huge peace – maybe the beginning of a vocation. In bereavement there can be a moment of peace, which seems to come from nowhere: peace of being totally loved by a good friend or spouse, peace, just peace with the children.

There is a peace that comes from faith and love and that is prayer: peace that comes from knowing I am heard, understood and loved.

There is a huge need for listening now, for knowing that people care in our world of suicides, addictions to alcohol. We can feel we live in an impersonal world of anxiety and isolation. We need the peace of honest conversation and openness, and the peace of being forgiven.

Peace is not evading difficulty. You are mad worried about a child – somewhere in the middle, like gold in the mud, you find the peace of knowing God’s love for you and for him or her. That needs time and a bit of prayer.

It is good to sit each day in silence. Allow this peace to get into you. Breathe in and out, just saying the word peace. That is God’s gift to you. There is also a peace from God in doing good and doing the right thing. Jesus knew it was the best gift he could give. It comes from love.

Back to my first visit that day – what caused the peace? I don’t know fully. We can be surprised when we will be graced with the peace of Jesus Christ which the world cannot give.

Give each of us O Lord,
that peace beyond all understanding.

Donal Neary, SJ