Monday, February 20, 2006

The Deep Peace of the Son of Peace

Dear Friends,

A familiar Celtic blessing ends with this wish: "The Deep Peace of the Son of Peace be with You."
For me it is an intuitively satisfying blessing. We experience peace as a condition of the soul when we find home, sanctuary, and belonging. Peace is not an emotional state. It is state that emerges from deep within. And at the same time we know that we have a desire to have peace in the world around us, a longing that seems to go unrealized every day. There is a spoken prayer that is a favorite of mine, "Let there be peace in the world, and let it begin with me." We do not decide whether there will be peace in the world. We do decide whether we can bring forth the gift of peace to the world. Such a peace that surpasses understanding begins in the heart and our praxis of communion with the Son of Peace.

As I journey through this year of transition from the world of my past profession and from our previous residence to the new one in Salem, Oregon. Even as I am immersed more deeply into the retreat experience of greater intensity of practice, I am aware also that human beings are in a time of dangerous global passage, where the violent conflicts may break out in a more horrible way. News reports warn of an impending attack on Iran by the United States and Israel, an attack that will inevitably lead to wider, and possibly nuclear war.

Like Merton who wrote his "Confessions of a Guilty Bystander" I wonder what can I do. I can share my concern and be a witness to a better way than massive violence under the pretense of a safer world. More importantly I can find my sole refuge in the only peace that is truly inseparable from every human being who sincerely seeks it. The Heart of Christ is my refuge, my home, and my peace. There is no other even though the world should explode and end.

Yeshua whispers to us, "Peace is my gift to you, my own peace I give to you, that the world cannot give." John 14:27 This peace of Christ we can all bring forth in the shining lamp of our own souls. We can shine the Light within us in the world and be a witness to it. This we can all do, and I am at peace when I consecrate myself to what can be done rather than go into the despair of I can't do.
The peace of Christ be with us all, Friends.
Bill Ryan