Last week, I was introduced to the spirituality of Catherine Doherty. Called a spiritual giant of the 20th century , she was the founder of Madonna House, a public association of Christian Faithful. After all my years of doing church work, I’m always surprised to hear about spiritual giants I’ve never heard before. There’s always more to learn!
Someone loaned me a book of her daily reflections. Her reflection on peace resonated with me:
In the Gospel, Christ says, “By their fruits you shall know them.” One of the basic fruits of the Christian life should be peace- a deep, inner peace in each one of us.
What is there to be unpeaceful about? Difficulties will abound. Trials will dwell with us constantly. Little pressures and big pressures will encompass us with their eternal demands. Temptations will besiege us from within. Loneliness will knock at the door of our hearts. The devil will roar all around us, not only like a lion but like underground thunder. Mental, physical, and spiritual weariness will chant their endless lullaby. The flesh will seek escape into sleep.
These things will happen, but if our soul remains in its cell of peace, dwelling at the feet of the Prince of Peace, all this will be as if it were not, for peace is the fruit of charity, and nothing can penetrate that cell unless we let it.
I was praying with St. Teresa of Avila, and I recalled her words “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing affright you. All things are passing. God alone remains.”
Let us try then to dwell at the feet of the Prince of Peace. Let us work in the noonday darkness, in the many dark nights of the spiritual life, holding high the torch of peace. If we do that, then faith will become strong, the vision of our priorities will be clear, and peace and love will grow.