How To Achieve Peace of Soul!

By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.  

More books, pamphlets and columns on peace of soul have probably been written in the last decade than in all the time since the birth of Christ.  No generation has sought peace more desperately than our own.  Yet, this desirable state of mind and heart seems to be more elusive than ever.

Why should this be?  God promised us peace in the words of Isaias: “Lord, thou wilt give us peace.”  At the birth of our Blessed Lord the angels promised peace to men of good will.  It was one of the last things promised by our Lord before His death, and the first after His Resurrection: “Peace be to you.”  (Luke 24:36)

The booming psychiatric trade indicates much is to be desired in the lives of individuals.  Divorce and juvenile delinquency attest to lack of peace in the home.  And the “Cold War” is sufficient proof of the lack of peace on the international scene.

The fact that our human hearts instinctively desire and seek peace of soul is evident.  Could it be that we’re looking for it in the wrong place?  Or that we’re not willing to pay the price for it?

True peace of soul will ever be the product of warfare and victory.  In the spiritual realm it comes to those who wage a total warfare against sin and selfishness.  It is a gift given to everyone who 
surrenders to the demands of the Risen Savior telling us, “to seek the things that are above.”

1) We must surrender our minds to Our Lord by living according to His law: “Much peace have they that love thy law, ” Psalm 118 guarantees.  The Gospel, containing revealed information on where to find peace, is the “Peace Plan” of God.

Obviously, it would be presumptuous to hope for peace without even consulting the Gospel.  Yet, there are those who never do.  The Creator, Who designed your human nature, reveals a way of life productive to peace.  It must be studied and applied.

2) We must surrender our wills to Our Lord by making the love of God the supreme goal of our life on earth: “Submit thyself to Him and thou shalt have peace.”  Charity is the perfect way of 
surrendering our hearts to God, and one of its first effects of peace.

A lot of people lack peace of soul because their desires are in conflict with the will of God – and thus with their human nature.

Once they make the “great decision” – that is, the resolution to make God’s will the norm of their actions – they will find peace.  Of this, you can be sure.

3) Finally, we must surrender our hearts to the Presence of God.  God did not design the human heart to be separated from Him.  Without Him there’s an unsettling restlessness that nags us and leaves us without peace.  As St. Paul writes: “He is our peace.” (Eph. 2:14)

We must never forget that our model for peace is a battle-scarred Warrior Who won a total victory over sin and death by unconditional surrender to His Father’s Will.  Only thus did He 
merit the glorious peace and victory of the Resurrection.  It’s ours also to share.  But we must be willing to pay the price!

With Special thanks to

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