Art of Knowing Peace: Part I
By: Most Rev. Dr. Marilyn
look upon all the preparations for war
in response to the recent terrorists'
attack on our country, it will become
more important than ever to keep our
inner selves in peace. Any peace in the
world must begin in the individual heart.
Osama bin Laden's heart will never be
changed without peace in our own hearts
no special verbal formula nor is there
a special place to go to obtain peace.
Some will tell you that you must go alone
to the seashore to learn about it. Some
will even suggest that the top of a mountain
is the best learning place. Environmentalists
will try to convince you that the woods,
where you are in the midst of green,
growing things, is the greatest teacher.
All of these suggestions are helpful,
but, at best, a place can simply provide
you with surroundings that are conducive
are peace-filled. They are not your peace.
to begin is in your heart. Open your
heart, take a deep breath and know the
silence within every cell of your being.
It is a short journey to the most beautiful
place in the world. Here you find remembrance
that the peace of God has been there
all the time. You have simply forgotten
that you have this valuable resource.
If you believe that God dwells within
you in Divine Wholeness, then the very
peace of God must be there because it
is part of God's wholeness. And since
you and God are ONE, then you must also
be the very peace of God. The challenge
is to become aware of it and to learn
how to use it.
that peace can never be an excuse for
inaction or for solving a situation at
any price. Peace is not being a doormat
or a wimp. Rather, it is that magnificent
quality which unobtrusively and quietly
brings the wisdom of resolution. Peace
is born of knowing that everything in
your individual and collective plan is
in Divine Order and is unfolding as it
should in your life and in the life of
Planet Earth. The way of the true Master
is the way of peace.
is an abiding presence that comes right
out of your love for God and for every
person in whom God rests, which is all
humanity, known or unknown to you in
the physical world. It is a permanent
state within you from which you can deal
with any circumstance.
is the topic of this article because
nothing of value in your life can happen
without its spiritual, life-giving center
from which you perceive your highest
good. Given the myriad of pseudo, deceptive
propositions presented to our human hearts
and minds, it is only in a peaceful heart
that you can penetrate to the core and
see each one for its true value. So peace
is both atmosphere and condition for
clear discernment. In its energy, you
intuit when it is time to change perspective,
when compromise is better than victory
and when silence gains more than argument.
The other day, as I was meditating on
the acquisition of peace, a clarifying
example occurred to me. Before mountain
climbers ascend to the peak, they establish
a base camp. This camp becomes their
center of operation where they plan strategy,
designate their point of rendezvous and
bring fallen comrades for medical assistance.
As I thought about this, I realized that
peace is our base camp. In its center
we plan our life goals and their manner
of achievement. It is the point of rendezvous
when the winds and the waves are overwhelming
and our spiritual life, itself, is threatened.
It is where we go when we have lost our
way and have no idea in which direction
to proceed. What happens if we come to
this base camp and there is no help available-no
peace? From this example, you can understand
how necessary true peace is, if human
beings are going to live a divine life
here and now.
The most natural question to ask at this
point is, "How do I access this
peace?" The answer, once again,
is inside you. You must make a deliberate
choice to remember that you are peace.
Once you have done this, every step you
take follows in logical sequence.
quiet time. Easier said than done, I'm
sure. Your world, like mine, is a whirlwind
of schedules, activities, financial concerns,
children and social obligations. Nevertheless,
the beginning step in the process is
to set aside some quiet time to remember
that YOU ARE peace.
you create this time by looking over
the list of activities which often drain
your energy and keep you spinning like
a whirling dervish. Which ones are essential
for your well being, your family's and
the highest good of others? Which ones
can be excluded from your life?
examine your list of friends. Which ones
are real friends and which ones are simply
acquaintances? Are there any that we
can drop from our roster? A close friend
deserves a letter. An acquaintance merits
an occasional card, or perhaps, just
a Christmas card, depending on the circumstances.
consider carefully how strong you are
about saying "No" to requests
for which you really have no time, unless
you set aside the last few minutes you
have for yourself. If what you are being
asked to undertake requires all the time
and energy you have and it's something
that someone else can do, it's important
to say "No."
you trained your children to carry out
responsibilities around the house, which
will lighten your load, or do you have
them committed to so many activities
that you cannot ask them to bear their
share of the household work? Remember
that your children need quiet time also,
if they are to acquire peace at an early
age. They need to make prayer and meditation
a daily habit. Then, when it comes time
to make young adult choices, they will
have a spiritual base from which to make
same process applies to your spiritual
life. Some are over-committed to spiritual
activities under the false impression
that the more activities we engage in,
the more we will show our love for God.
In grand disguise, it is a massive takeover
of doing before being. Spiritual activities
can drain energy even more than secular
kinds of activities, primarily because
we attach so much importance to them.
Examine why you feel you must do these
things. Give yourself time to think about
how much energy you can expend without
hindering your own spiritual life.
you do, please do not underestimate the
importance of this winnowing process
in every area of your life. Separate
the chaff from the wheat. When it has
been completed, you will find not one,
but several times during the day when
you can sit in quietude and awaken to
the peace that you are.
on the acquisition of peace at another
Rev. Dr. Marilyn L. Sieg
like to thank Most Rev. Dr. Marilyn L.
Sieg for the Spirituality Articles she
wrote for us.