Spiritual Direction in the Franciscan Tradition - Sister Judy Nielsen. OSF
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Finding Peace

Peace reminds me of an old friend.   Every conversation included "where is my peace?" and "I just want some peace."  I was reminded each time that there was no point in talking about faith or Scriptures because this person possessed a degree in those things.  Looking at peace academically can make us blind.  Wanting to acquire peace like something we could own can make us envious of what we think others might have that we do not.  
We can come to believe that peace is outside of us.   We can come to a place where we allow other people and their actions to cause our lack of peace.   We can even believe if this person or that person would stop what they are doing or saying or perhaps change into the person we think they should be then we would have peace.  We are blinded to our judgment of the other person as less than acceptable.  
We can become like the cat who brings us a dead mouse because he is unsure that we know how to hunt. It is often our belief that what we advise others is in their best interest.  We have no way to know that.  We aren't writing the pages in their book of life.  For the cat it's logical that we would think of the dead mouse as a treat.  For us it is not that logical. Our logic says a dead mouse belongs outside. So how does the cat convince us?  How do we change the cat's opinion of us?   We do not.   
Peace lies in the letting the cat be the cat and in accepting that I do not have to be a cat to be loved by one.  Its a simple lesson but acceptance is not easy.
Acceptance requires faith that all is as it should be.  Faith that there is a Creator that can bring good from what is intended to be bad.  That little bit of faith is a gift.  It starts on the inside.  If allowed to grow it produces peace.  It seems to me that the anger I hear today that often turns into violence against others is rooted in our inability to accept that is okay for others to be different from us, to think differently and to draw their own conclusions about their own long term well being.  We become sure we have the balance scales that will prove our actions are right. We push and shove either verbally or emotionally even sometimes physically to try to make others be who will be acceptable to us.   But acceptance is tricky.   Acceptance means that if I can make mistakes, if God isn't finished with me then maybe - just maybe - I ought to leave God to his work.  It is possible that I can receive the gifts God intends for me if I let go of grasping onto you to change to be more acceptable to me.  The word acceptance often means redeeming grace. To be redeemed means we are known as who we are and loved in spite of it and because of it.  It's an inside job we call peace.

3 Comments to Finding Peace:

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Sister Judy on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 3:36 PM
Great comment! I hope to hear you have had some success with practicing that. It is a gentleness with one's self that grows the peace you speak of and plants the seed of goodness in every action and conversation. We do the planting. God does the growing. Depression and despair can be the result of forgetting that God does the growing. It's great to know you are out there working on that!
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