Although we are not engaged in an “all out war” in our country right now, we are experiencing what Joe Wise, one of the early musicians of the “guitar Mass” era, called our “private little wars.” In truth, we are in a very dangerous moment of civil unrest and seem unable to restore a sense of peace any time soon. With this in mind this morning, I turned to Joan Chittister for a word of hope or guidance. I was not disappointed. Sister Joan reminded me of what some call “the long view” – the truth that cycles of life are longer than my personal story and it is up to me and all of us to move toward change for the better each day. Here is what she said about Benedictine peace. Every sentence deserves reflection.
Benedictine peace is not something that is ever achieved. It is something sincerely and consistently sought. It comes, in fact, from the seeking, not from the getting. It comes from the inside, not the outside. It comes from right-heartedness, not from self-centeredness. It comes from the way we look at life, not from the way we control it. It comes from the attitudes we bring to things, not from the power we bring to them…Monastic peace, in other words, is the power to face what is with the serenity of faith and the courage of hope, with the surety that good can come from evil and the certainty that good will triumph. Peace is the fruit of Benedictine spirituality. Peace is the sign of the disarmed heart. (Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, p. 184)