The Peace of God
The evil one utilizes confusion, chaos, anxiety, and uneasiness to torment the soul. The negative energy of a situation, occasion or person can cause massive distress to the soul. The soul as it attempts to flee is bombarded with these feelings to prevent spiritual growth and reflection. These distractions from spiritual union with God lead the soul into a valley of tears where it focuses on meaningless things. The soothing words of Christ are a distant echo as the soul struggles with needless things. The focus of the soul is lost and in these cases counseling is needed sometimes to help the soul find its interior peace.
The words of Christ to Martha come to mind. Martha was so concerned with trivial things during our Lord’s visit that she even became angry with her sister who dedicated the visit of the Lord to him only. Christ reprimanded Martha for her frustration with her sister and told her that her sister had chosen the more important route. How many times are we distracted by such menial things when our Lord is right before us? How many times do we allow trivial things to upset our interior peace and allow Satan to cause distress and frustration in our daily life?
As Christians, we must retain our focus on Christ. A Christocentric lifestyle is essential to interior peace. This lifestyle reminds one of the insignificance of other things to the spiritual realm and how only a Christocentric lifestyle can give true peace. While we exist in the world and commit to the daily duty and crosses that come their way, we must see their spiritual value as well. We are as like a ship at sea admist the turbulent sea but yet still aware of upcoming remain shoreline. Our life on earth is full of important things but when needless things disrupt or take away from the peace of Christ, we need to regroup, refocus and find an oasis of peace in the eye of the hurricane.
The devil will attempt to disrupt this peace at all costs. Peace is the spiritual water where virtues find their nourishment. When peace is disrupted, virtues cannot grow and chaos and confusion sweep in harming the spiritual garden and uprooting the virtues that grow there. It is amazing how subtle and inventive the enemy is. How many times has our spiritual peace been disrupted by a traffic jam, long light, or inconsiderate driver? What of individuals? While Christian charity is always important, Christ does not expect us to deal or accompany individuals who corrupt our peace despite all our efforts to rescue them. What of our daily duties? Do we allow our crosses which are gifts to perfect us to become curses that corrupt us? So many times, impatience leads one to anger and one’s peace is disrupted and frustrated.
For those who have found inner levels of peace and abide in the deeper mansions of the soul (St. Theresa of Avila), peace can still be stolen by the enemy. How many are tormented with the littlest deviation from the will of Christ to the point it becomes an obsession to never fall or sin. Instead of professing hope and faith in Christ, some religious become scrupulous and obsessive about every small action they commit and in this way the evil one steals the very peace our Lord is giving them.
With these things in mind, a Certified Christian counselor can see the dangers that chaos and confusion has in the inner life of their spiritual children. One should identify the chaos and confusion that exists within the problem and find remedy for that chaos. Spiritual prayer and meditation that brings peace should be utilized in sessions to help calm the inner anxieties of the soul.
So many times we lose our focus and take our eye off the ball. When we see ourselves losing track of the finish line, we should ask ourselves does this particular incident affect our overall goal of salvation? Are we merely children playing with our rattles, unaware of the splendor and joys outside our play pen or crib? I suggest we put down our “spiritual rattles” and not be consumed with such infantile concerns and maintain our focus on Christ as did Mary, the sister of Martha.
May the peace of our Lord be with you this day.
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Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C