Today's epistle instructs us:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4: 6-8
Pray, petition, and give thanks. "The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness, like the tax collector in the parable: 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer." (CC 2631) Another important aspect of receiving this peace is thanksgiving. Hopefully these three elements can be woven together each time we pray so it becomes a habit pattern.
The letter from Paul to the Philippians continues:
"Finally,...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
O, the wisdom from St. Paul. "Think about such things"...shows us the importance of what we think and the effect it has on our experience of peace. No doubt when we focus on the opposite of these values--whatever is false, ignoble, wrong, impure, unlovely, pathetic, base, of bad report...we grow anxious.
Our world is full of news of bad report. We're bombarded from every side and every form of media. There's an excess of immorality, greed, corruption, falsehood, murder, only to name a few of the evils. And we can't escape hearing about it.
But what we can do is learn, know and incorporate the sacred scriptures--the Good News--in our daily lives. This serves as a great buffer and protection against all evil often manifest in the stories we hear in the news.
Wouldn't it be great to model life in such a way that we can say to others, like Paul, what you have learned, and heard, and seen in me, put into practice?
May our Lord bless us with such grace that we can experience abundant peace in our hearts and minds, no matter what happens.
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