sand mandala

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

– Isaiah 11:9

 

Seeker, 

What do you need to put down in order to pick up the promise of peace?

[The reflection below is an excerpt from a new book by Joe Grant coming out in February. See the announcement at the end of the reflection.]

 

The storm-tones died away and… I beheld the countless host of forest hushed and tranquil, towering above one another like a devout audience. The setting sun filled them with amber light, and seemed to say, while they listened, “My peace I give unto you.”

– John Muir

 

Deeper than ending hostility,

broader than personal tranquility,

peace is a promise, a gift, a way, a necessary means to well-being.

 

…and all manner of things shall be well.

– Julian of Norwich

 

Though she enters in stillness, Shalom is not the fruit of quietism.

Peace is not a passive state.

She is engagement, she is movement—a continual act in balance.

 

The promise of peace extends its reach

beyond the bounds

of personal and social relations.

 

Shalom encompasses and shapes

all our interlacing relationships to life,

at every turn expressing and re-forging kinship.

 

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

– Psalm 133:1

 

Peace culminates in communion.

But before we can taste at-one-ness,

we must first embrace at-one-ment.

 

Despite the doomsayers, we are not destined for destruction.

Communion and wholeness

are not just dreamy possibilities.

 

Our traditions teach

that the essence and substance of the Heart,

which breathed the universe into being, is peace-bearing love.

 

…for God is a God not of disorder but of peace.

– 1 Corinthians 14:33

 

Our faith is not founded

on peace and quiet,

but rooted in peace and justice.

 

No peace will long endure,

unless mercy and justice hold sway

in the dealings of the day.

 

We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.

– Thomas Merton

 

We cannot deny,

despite our self-inflicted wounds,

that we were made for so much more than domination.

 

It is suffering

borne and shared,

not violence unleashed, that brings redemption.

 

If we are not disturbed to the core

by the grotesque desecration of life in our times,

we must still be drugged by the enchantments of triumphalism.

 

I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!

– John 16:33

 

Until we grieve the losses and mourn the costs of violence,

we cannot hope to resist the lure of vindication.

Only lament can exorcise such self-righteousness from our shared soul.

 

Wholeness and well being,

are the endowment promised (without exception)

to all the children of the One whose name is Shalom.

 

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.

– Matthew 5:9

 

The gift of peace rests in your hands.

May you take it today

to where it is needed most,

 

joe

 

New Publication by JustFaith Ministries.

An excellent companion for your Lenten journey and beyond!

Available February 2015 

Still in the Storm book cover (1)

Still in the Storm is not a book for sissies. It calls out a challenge to live vibrantly the contemplative journey in community and the quest for justice. It is poetry that touches the heart, quickens the spirit, and changes lives if we but open to the discipleship of NOW!

Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK