May the Peace, not of the world, wash over you.
May it fill you with the calm knowledge and love of God-with-you.
May it fill you to the brim and banish all fear, anxiety, hurt.
May it restore you to right balance and reconnect you with the total love of the Trinity
What does it mean to receive the ‘Peace, not of the world,’ sent by Christ Himself, across all boundaries of time and space, to touch you, just as you are, right here, right now, in your need?
It is like a refreshing rain that washes you clean and pushes away all the pain from the inside out. It is a blessing of love beyond words of explanation, that cannot possibly come from within a broken, harmed and hurting body and soul of its own volition.
You can tell it by its quality of goodness and blessing, of lightness and refreshment. It is deeper than the ocean and wider than the sky, yet still it fills you and comforts you absolutely. It helps you bear the unbearable. It helps you tolerate the intolerable. It helps you hold on to life, no matter how desperate your situation. It renews you innerly. It becalms your fears and concerns. It protects you. It strengthens you in the centre of your being and it fills you with the Love of God, a blessing flowing from the Cross for all time, gifted by Christ Himself to His disciples and us all.
When you receive it, you know what it is, for it centres you in Truth. It centres you in being present to the now of God with you. It brings a calm that is exquisite in its beauty. It is a shield against evil. It is a certain quality of Love that reaches you in and between each moment of agony and fills you with knowledge of a greater reality and that reality is absolute Love in motion. Amen
My own experience of God is not one that is found through the prism of life in all its business, interaction, or out and about through fellowship in the community, for my life is one of isolation and separation simply to survive. My experience then is one rather of silence, withdrawal, limitation, inability, pain, negation and indescribable agony, going on for decades without relief. It is one of necessary silence and enforced stillness, brought about by continual, unpredictable, repeated brutalising paralysis and pain so vast that its intensity is unimaginable and its continuity over so many, many years, utterly flabbergasting.
Into this life, my God has come, gentle, bright, warm, present, compassionate, encouraging, inspiring and uplifting. His peace, truly not of this world, is the gift He brings. A peace that flows around, between, within each painful moment and infills all my being with His Love. It is vast, ever flowing, gentle yet strong, here yet there and everywhere at once.
It becalms me. It strengthens my heart and keeps me safe. It blesses me in its tenderness. It encourages my faith and knowledge. It keeps me in the present moment, rather than in the loss of the past or the fear or longing of the future.
It stills me in my distress. It is golden and resonates with beauty. It is all that sustains me through every moments trial and bodily torment.
When I lose awareness of it, I am battered. When I find it, it is everything, for it lives in me and I become one with God in it and He is ever-present in me.
Come what, come may then, of this I can be certain. God is with me. He has made His home in me and His Peace, that is beyond all understanding, resides in me, not at my will, but at His. It remains and stills me when I have to endure the most extreme indescribable, intense pain. He stays with me in all suffering, even if I cannot always feel Him. His gift is unconditional. His Love knows no bounds and thus also, his Peace too knows no bounds. What an awesome promise of Peace did Jesus give His disciples and all who come to know Him, for the Peace that passes all understanding is an unfathomable well of beauty and grace, purely and truly gifted by God. It flows from the Cross of suffering. It is from the Cross and despite all the pain that we endure, it assures us that we can, must and will find that inner Peace to help us cope.
It is the peace that is the Will of God and His love in action, flowing to us, to lift, embrace, comfort, strengthen us, and it comes unbidden as a gift of Mercy beyond all hope and expectation.
Whoever would have thought that this bleakest place of torment, experienced by those who are hurting, wounded, suffering without relief, dying, could be a place of Peace and inner stillness, yet if we listen we can hear the Word of Jesus himself telling us that it is so, for He says His peace is not of the world, which is conditional, but unconditional, freely given without demand or explanation?
Simply put, it is a gift and it is free. You do not even need to seek it, for as Jesus told us, the Father and I will come to live with you. This surely is how Peace is gained, found, known and understood.
Peace, then, is Mercy and is freely given, flowing from the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are all, unconditionally and perfectly, Love. Where one is, all Three are. There is no greater gift they can give.
(C) Holy Way 2022
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