Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
May I live this day.
- John O'Donohue
All of these images are from Holy Dormition Monastery in Michigan, where I figured out that peace is real, real peace is possible, but you have to work for it.
Anxiousness, vanity, discontent, disappointment, resentment, envy, laziness are relentless in their pursuit of my full, undivided attention.
By default, I use noise and busyness to try and drown them out, only that is like pouring gasoline on a fire. The alternative, however: slowing down, quieting down, filtering more scrupulously what I allow into my head (thus into my heart), can seem too exhausting, too fraught with danger (and inconvenience). Later, later, later I'll confront the elephant in the room wearing a sign stating: Today Could Be Your Last Day. And my peace-smothering vices clap and cheer, knowing they're safe.
Or, I could shut off the noise, I could silence my ghosts of the past and obsession with the future, and brace myself for the flooding awareness of my weaknesses and fragility that would surely follow. It would become overwhelmingly obvious how in need I am of help. I'd even mourn the death of my perceived self-competence but there, in the present, in that alarming state of vulnerability, is Christ.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, I'd pray, without an ounce of pride, hungry only for Jesus and the merciful peace that He is - authentic, enduring peace immune to the ups and downs that obliterate so swiftly my own makeshift attempts at constructing peace by way of force.
My goals would shift from attaining worldly "success" to staying there, to doing whatever it takes (prayer, fasting, Eucharist, Scripture reading, stillness, love, love, love) not to stray from that place of present where Christ meets me and provides me with just the strength and wisdom I need to take on one conversation, one errand, one chore at a time. And, no lie, life would bloom with significance, even the hard parts, the boring parts.
I think I really, really want that.
Do you have a photo of "Peace" to share? Please link to your blog in the comment section! Next week's The Way I See It theme will be: Growth.