January 1st is a great time to commit to peace. The peace we all want to see begins within ourselves. I shared a post (Peace on Earth) on this subject in 2010. Today, I’d like to share a summary of my pastor’s inspiring homily on this topic. Father Nixon delivered this homily, based on teachings of St. Augustine, today – on the World Day of Peace – at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Norfolk, VA.
To find and experience true peace, we need three things:
1) Silence of Mind – This means giving up the various worries and general anxiety that hold us hostage moment-to-moment. It means drawing our awareness back from the past and away from the future to be fully in the present, the only place where peace is found.
2) Simplicity of Heart – This means having purity of intention. It means letting go of unhealthy attachments to people, places and things – anything we love more than God. We choose to set our heart on God alone, which causes all of our other “loves” to fall into their proper places.
3) Serenity of Soul – This means choosing to give up our deliberate sins, allowing the soul to find rest. It means living a life of continual conversion, since conversion is never just a one-time deal.
With these three qualities in place, we experience peace within ourselves. This peace then spreads out into the world. And more than that: Our inner peace is what enables us to truly love others more fully and unselfishly. Love is the real goal. We believe that, ultimately, we will be “judged” (however we understand this judgement!) on how well we have loved, on how completely we have been conformed to God by grace – to God, Who is Love.