A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Longing for Peace

Posted on: April 15, 2013

Yesterday my husband and I took my son to the Canadian War Museum to visit the galleries we’d missed on our visit last summer.

I live in a place that is peaceful by most people’s standards, but as I looked at the displays about war and peacekeeping, it struck me just how many conflicts the world has seen in my lifetime. In an age of instant communication and fast travel, these conflicts only seem to be a world away. So many disputes over land, religion and ethnicity translate into untold numbers of people who may have peace where they live, but not in their hearts.

We all long for the kind of peace only God can give. Think about the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6-7*:

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Even though Jesus tells us not to be anxious (see Luke 12:22-34), I tend to worry, but at least when I’m struggling with decisions or fears or loss, I can take comfort in knowing God sees and hears me. But what about those who don’t even have this comfort because they don’t know God? How can we help them learn about his peace? Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Pray for people who don’t know God or who have walked away from their faith, that God would open their hearts.
  • Read Brian O’Neel’s article “My Child, The Atheist” in the April 2013 issue of Catholic Digest to learn more about why people become atheists and how to share your faith with them.
  • Pray for more people to share the good news as priests and religious, especially as we mark the World Day of Prayer for Vocations next Sunday.
  • Support and encourage seminarians in your diocese.
  • Donate to the Canadian Bible Society to help fund the translation of the Bible into languages that only have a portion of the Bible (or none at all) and to provide bibles to soldiers, prisoners, and people in various parts of the world who can’t afford a copy of their own.

Let’s take heart from Jesus’ words to the disciples in John 14:27:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

(*Quotes from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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