Sorry, but today's post on Peace is written in a Stream of Consciousness style. Too many thoughts are going on in my head at once, and I'm not sure any are coming out clearly. My friend Bridget is holding a blog carnival where the word of the week is Peace. I am sure you will find some awesome entries there, and, of course, are welcome to leave a blog entry on Peace of your own.
Merriam-Webster defines peace as follows:
Main Entry: 1peace
Etymology: Middle English pees, from Anglo-French pes, pees, from Latin pac-, pax; akin to Latin pacisci to agree — more at pact
Date: 12th century
1 : a state of tranquillity or quiet: as a : freedom from civil disturbance b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom :a breach of the peace
2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3 : harmony in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity
5 —used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell
— at peace : in a state of concord or tranquillity
I am going to assume that one cannot have peace with their neighbor, if they are not at peace with themself. (Or a nation peace with another nation, if there is no peace within). Also, I always thought of the greeting "Shalom", or peace, as actually being a real wish for peace for the person being greeted.
Bibically, peace is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and is mentioned numerous times (247, NIV) in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jesus Himself said "Peace be with you" several times after His Resurrection. I think He was doing more than just saying "Howdy!". He as the very word of God was bringing peace to his disciples. That peace is still offered us today.
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Guess what? Sometimes my heart is still troubled and afraid. Sometimes my prayers for peace are garbled and mixed up. Thankfully, I have friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, who pray for me. Knowing that they lift me in prayer eases my soul and brings me peace. I hope I do the same for them, though I admit to right now receiving more consolation than I give. No one has a carefree life. We are to bring peace to one another even while we are swimming in cares of our own...
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen