Friday, August 19, 2016

Hymn of Peace

Dove, symbol of peace, whispering message of peace to me in our backyard.
This verse of a hymn by James Quinn, S.J. resonated with me yesterday morning...
    "Make us the servants of your peace,
      Renew our strength, remove all fear,
      Be with us. Lord, throughout this day,
      For all is joy if you are near."

So let's take a look at this by breaking it open.

First, "servants of peace" ~~this speaks to me of a longing to be an instrument of peace by bearing this fruit interiorially in order to bring this presence of peace to others, maybe even without a word. Do we make it happen by ourselves? No, we ask for it and grow in it. That's why the author uses the words "make us..." we acknowledge God as the author of all goodness and all good gifts.

Second, "remove all fear" ~~over and over the holy scriptures, especially the words of our Lord Jesus say, "Be not afraid." There's no doubt as humans we face fears; different circumstances in our lives make us feel afraid, so we humbly ask again, "remove" these. Fears weaken us if we allow them to linger long. Our strength is renewed daily as we recognize and admit our fears and surrender them. 2 Timothy 1: 7 says, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, charity and a sound mind." Often fear is rooted in lies of the enemy, know the one whispering the untruths about our goodness, worth and value. Truth is, we are good because God created us in his image and likeness, we are of great worth because we are his beloved children and we have value because we've been given many gifts to share with others.

Next the words, "be with us" ~~here's an invitation to the Lord saying, I want you close to my heart today. I want to be near your heart. Draw us closer, please. In this knowledge that He is with us, we can stand firm against anything that happens, especially the most difficult things in life.

Finally, "all is joy" ~~daily believe He is near and with you always and joy will increase. "Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength." Nehemiah 8:10.

Peace & all joy be yours!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

In The Woods

Glendalough Monastic Ruins in Ireland

"You will discover things in the woods that you never found in books. Stones and trees will teach you things that you never heard from your schoolteachers."       St. Bernard of Clairvaux