Monday, April 4, 2011

Peace as fruit

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has four primary references to peace, and I want to focus on the first two today:
  • as fruit of the Holy Spirit
  • as fruit of love
  • disorders threatening freedom to be eliminated (things that threaten peace & cause wars)
  • earthly peace as "image of the peace of Christ"

As a fruit of the Holy Spirit

There are many things we can do to nurture interior peace, but for it to take root within us we must be "grafted onto the true vine." It's like planting the seed within the good soil. As the Lord says in the scriptures, "I am the vine, you are the branches." Jn 15:5

"He who has grafted us...will make us bear 'the fruit of the Spirit...love, peace, joy...' " So we are reliant on the power of the Holy Spirit for bearing this fruit and its increase. We can not bear fruit without Him.

As we cooperate with the paschal mystery--the continual dying to self, rising to new life, and going forth in our daily lives we grow more and more in the fruit of the Spirit. Let us continue to pray, "Come, Holy Spirit, increase the fruit of peace within me."


As a fruit of love

"The fruits of charity are joy, peace and mercy." When we fulfill the two greatest commandments, "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength," and "Love your neighbor as yourself," we will experience a beautiful flowering of this fruit in the garden of our souls. These commandments are written in our hearts. "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Rom 5:5

We simply need to surrender, submit and obey the Word. We need to do good and be kind. "The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies," to make the marginalized our neighbor, "and...to love the poor as Christ himself."

There are three persons mentioned to love: God, self and neighbor. I can not love God and neighbor and hate myself. I can not love God and myself and hate or ignore my neighbor. I need to love all three persons. Let us pray, "O God, teach us your true love."

Catechism references are from 736, 1825, 1829, and 1832.

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