God’s peace makes us whole

Photo by Tamara Menzi on Unsplash

December 6 / First Thursday of Advent

Advertisement

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace, in peace because in you they trust.~ Isaiah 26:3

One of the prayers that most fed my soul as I was growing up in the Episcopal Church — a prayer that still blankets me with comfort — is the postcommunion blessing. “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” it begins, “keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” This peace: it originates in God, it is beyond our comprehension, it is part of the gift of love that God offers every day to “those of steadfast mind,” as Isaiah says, to those who trust in God.

But the English word “peace” is too broad to capture the significance of this gift. The Hebrew word here, shalom, carries the sense of being whole, of having unimpaired relationships, of fulfilling our responsibilities to others, of following the divine call. This kind of peace is rooted in the presence of God. And what leads us to experience that presence is both contemplation and action: the practice of prayer and the enacting of the promises we have made as baptized believers. These are the promises of love: love of God and love of neighbor. Shalom links prayer and practice: We acknowledge our trust in and dependence on God and give thanks for his mercy and love. Then, buoyed by that love and mercy, we find wholeness — peace — through acts of kindness, healing and justice. This divine peace may indeed surpass our understanding, but we still pray daily that it will keep our hearts and our minds in the knowledge of God.

Lord of love and wholeness, this day I ask you to bless me and keep me, to make your face shine upon me, and to give me your peace.Amen.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
asian fanfics
2 months 1 week ago

Good article, I would love to read your post. It contains a lot of useful information.
happy wheels

Advertisement
More: Prayer / Advent

The latest from america

The ruins of the church where the constitution of Simón Bolívar’s “Gran Colombia” was signed. Photo by Antonio De Loera-Brust
Over one million Venezuelans have arrived in Colombia as of May 2018. Colombia is not a rich country, and helping to bear the burden of receiving thousands of Venezuelan refugees every day is the Catholic Church.
Antonio De Loera-BrustFebruary 18, 2019
Jesuit Father Fernando Cardenal, a Nicaraguan poet and Queen Sofia Prize winner, speaks during a celebration for his 90th birthday at the National Theatre Ruben Dario in Managua, Nicaragua, in January 2015. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)
St. John Paul II had suspended Father Cardenal and several other priests from active ministry in 1985 for joining the Marxist-influenced Sandinista government. Father Cardenal resigned from the Sandinista Front in 1994.
The Vatican will live-stream all the keynote speeches and the interventions of Pope Francis at the upcoming summit on the protection of minors.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 18, 2019
My relationship with gospel music was forged not just on those Sunday mornings at home with Jackson and in church with my family but also on late nights in the backseat of a 1962 Chevy Bel Air sedan.
W. Ralph EubanksFebruary 18, 2019