Tuesday, May 16, 2017

About that peace the world gives.

‘When worldly people remain quiet, while going about in serious sin, and so tranquil about their vices, for their consciences don’t feel remorseful about anything, their peace is a sign that they and the devil are friends. While they live, the devil does not wage war against them.’ - Teresa of Avila

"The world teaches us the way to anesthetized peace..."

I have friends who always tell me that they are happy and content and very much at peace ... they only remember the good things, never dwell on the unhappy memories and experiences.  They don't have time for the pain.

I'm happy for them.  They have, or have had great careers.  They have nice lives, nice houses and cars, and are seemingly delighted with their lives.  They have left the past in the past, they keep themselves busy, with projects, or at the gym, social life filled with select friends and family, and so on.  They are very much at peace.

They have made peace with the 'world'.  Some - even many I know - have found peace in a lifestyle without religion.  They may be spiritual, or even active in a church setting, while rejecting traditional morality, they live an evolved good life.  They just don't believe in that other stuff.  They are at peace with that.  Several friends have told me most of my problems stem from religion - specifically Catholicism.  Especially if there is some sort of suffering which can sometimes now, and to be sure, did so in the past, trip me up.     Some of my friends just never deal with their past, others have anesthetized their past, insisting religion would only disturb their peace.  Imagine, no religion too ...

Pope Francis talked about that today.

"The peace that the world offers us," the Pope said, "is a peace without tribulations. It offers us an artificial peace "reduced to "tranquility". It is a peace "that is only concerned about one’s affairs and one’s security, lacking in nothing,” a bit like the peace of the rich Dives in the parable of Lazarus, a tranquility that “shuts” oneself without seeing "beyond":
"The world teaches us the way to anesthetized peace: it anesthetizes us from seeing another reality of life: the Cross. This is why Paul says that one must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven on the road with many tribulations. But is it possible to obtain peace amidst tribulation? From our side, no; we are unable to make peace that is tranquility, a psychological peace, our peace, because tribulations are there, whether pain, illness or death. But the peace that Jesus gives is a gift: it is a gift of the Holy Spirit; and this peace lasts through tribulations and beyond. It's not a sort of stoicism of the ‘fakir’. No. it’s something else.”
"God's peace is real peace, that enters the reality of life, that does not deny life; that is life. There is suffering, there are the sick people, there are many bad things, there are wars ... but that peace within, which is a gift, is not lost, but goes ahead bearing the Cross and suffering. Peace without the Cross is not the peace of Jesus: it is a peace that can be bought, that can make. But it does not last; it comes to an end. " - VR

Feeling good about yourself, having a nice life is not always a guarantee of peace.


  1. This is the kind of inspiration that drew me to your writing in the beginning. I live with the suffering of the cross but I have Jesus and his church. What more could one want!

  2. The Teresa quote is an unusual one. Pslam 129 reads ..." they have oppressed me from my youth". To avoid paranoia, the enemies in the psalms are best used symbolically of the demons...unless one lives in a terrible neighborhood where the Jones family actually has oppressed you from your youth.

    1. Many saints have noted that in spiritual direction. Eastern monks esp. - I'll try to find some corroboration.


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