Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict.
Peace has numerous connotations from peace of mind to peace in a war zone but the underlying theme is the same – conflict. The reality that there exists a conflict is at the heart of any form of turbulence which ultimately cascades into disturbance, upheaval and chaos. Obviously under such circumstances the peace is the casualty and the occasional fragile calm that prevails sporadically is often pregnant with tension, suspicion and fear.
When viewed from the standpoint of conflict, we perhaps come to the inevitable conclusion that if we can only get rid of the conflict peace will return. Ironically though, many a time conflict can be suppressed by brute force, draconian measures and an iron hand but there will exist only a fragile peace that can disintegrate anytime. This begs the question when can we say peace exits? If we can remain calm even when there is violence, disharmony and mayhem around and trust in God that there will be a resolution to the problems that beseech us , that is when we actually experience peace. Pause for a moment and look at how your peace of mind has been disturbed when a close relative dies. We are distraught and our peace of mind is disturbed. Yet when we come to comes with the reality that death is inevitable we can take solace in comfort of a divine presence that soothes our hearts and gives us fortitude.
Look at the numerous war zones the world over. The conflict be it in Palestine or in Kashmir or the ethnic troubles (that are particularly rampant in of some of the countries in the African continent) rage on, yet people from opposing ideologies continue to live there. It is possible that they live there perhaps due to economic compulsions, may be in the fond hope that they won’t give up their homeland but they all live in fear. Every day a new problem crops up and violence is the norm. Yet they place their trust in an infinite power called ‘God’ whose local nomenclature could vary from region to region, society to society and religion to religion. Despite the fear, there is eternal hope in the future, a tranquility in the heart and a readiness to submit to ‘God’s Will’ all of which taken together brings about ‘peace’ !
Whether seen from a philosophical point of view or from a rational point of view the reality is that conflicts exist. Similarly the reality is that peace is present in the midst of conflict for peace is a blessing from God not a mere antidote of conflict!
Remember: “Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God.”
- The next time you are disturbed attempt to be aware of what caused the disturbance. While you must objectively seek out the external factors that triggered the disturbance pay close attention to your own response. Do you blame it on others? Do you shirk your responsibilities? Are you making a mountain out of a mole hill? Do you get flustered easily? Do you believe in yourself to cope with the problem?
- The next time you have a serious disagreement do not get annoyed or behave boorishly. Make an attempt to see things from the point of view of the other person. Perhaps then you can respond more objectively and less emotionally and get others to appreciate your point of view.
- Read the very well known prayer of St. Francis of Assisi http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pray0027.htm
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