searching for peace

I'm using a book of daily meditations from Dorothy Day for my prayer and reflection these days. This was the reading for today:

We all have a desire for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful which is God. And we look around us today in a time of war and fear, of stockpiling for war, of great dishonesty, and ambition, and long for peace in our time, for that peace which passeth understanding, which we see only glimpses of, through a glass darkly.

I cannot write and express myself without using the words and phrases of St. Paul, of scripture. We are told to find comfort "search the scripture" to find comfort and guidance. St. Therese of Lisieux said once that she could read fifty chapter of Isaiah and get nothing out of them and then suddenly the fifty-first flooded her soul with light. Which makes me think of the subconscious mind working away, and leaping on what it needs for sustenance, comfort or understanding.

Tonight I gathered with some folks at the cathedral to hear Marie Dennis, director of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns and President of Pax Christi International speak on peacemaking in the Catholic tradition. Each of us was there I think filled with a desire of peace, yet like Dorothy Day living in a time of war and fear, stockpiling for war, dishonesty and ambition. We desire peace in our time. We pray for peace. We work for peace.

When I first consciously became a peace activist on September 11, 2001 I suppose I was searching for peace in the build up to war. Peace not only in terms of the absence of war, but peace in the midst of chaos and vitriol. But I guess what I glean from people like Marie and Dorothy and the founder of my own religious community, Margaret Anna Cusack, is that even if we don't actually find that elusive peace, there is something wonderful and holy and life giving about the quest, grounded in the God quest ... the journey to peace. In my case, that journey is as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace, as part of the Catholic faith community, as an American, and as member of the global human family.

I am reminded of the words Margaret Anna wrote in the original 1884 Constitutions of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace:

The very name Sisters of Peace will, it is hoped, inspire the desire of peace and a love for it.

How do you search for peace?

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