We are living in unprecedented times. The tension has become palpable. You can see it on our roads, in stores, even within our churches – people are stressed beyond belief. We live with the media shouting their respective agendas at us 24/7 – pandemic, civil unrest, riots, politics and the upcoming election, economic crisis, and the list goes on. There is a pervasive toxic atmosphere of fear, anxiety, agitation, and hatred. This is fed by a culture that encourages a sense of entitlement, moral relativism and hyper emotionalism.
How can we live in such a climate? How can we practice our faith in such a climate? What can we do to cope?
When the apostles were confused and scared in the Upper Room, the Lord Jesus came to them and said to them: “Peace be with you!” In the same way, he extends this greeting to each of us. In his peace, the fears, burdens and anxieties of this life do not define us!
Look through salvation history and see the incredible lengths that God, the Creator of heaven and earth has gone to for each of us. We are not only loved – we are cherished! By the Paschal Mystery of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been made a living part of His Mystical Body – we can never be alone. We are the children of God – the children of His peace.
Here are some steps to help is keep this gift of peace.
4 Steps To Finding Peace In Troubled Times
Stay close to the Lord in the gift and grace of the sacraments.
Through the sacraments our relationship with Him is nourished and fed, and his grace becomes our armor in distressing times (Ephesians 6:10ff). The sacraments are also an oasis of God’s peace that is beyond our understanding (Phil 4:7). It is within the sacraments that we are cleansed, find comfort and healing, and are nourished and strengthened. It is where we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and imitate the way of Christ as a community (Acts 2:42).
Reach outside of yourself.
Christians are not wimps! Denounce the dark spirits of indulgence, anger, and entitlement. Know and participate in our Faith. Fill your mind and heart with Sacred Scripture, with prayer, with sacred music, with spiritual reading. If we are filled with Christ, we will be strong in Him. This will leave no room for the noise of the world.
Put virtue into practice
Reach out to and connect with your neighbors, the elderly, the sick and the lonely. Find out how you can help those in need, then do what you can. As Christians, we do not have the time to wallow in fear and self-pity! Know who you are called to be and stand upon what you claim to believe! As Christians, we have been called by Christ and given the mission to “Go out to all the world…” This mission is for all of us – the members of Christ’s Body the Church. We are to be heralds of Good News, clearly and visibly living its richness in both words and deeds. In this way, we reveal the Lord Jesus as the true Light of the world, drawing others into the hope and the true peace that he offers.
Stand with our Mother, Mary.
Given to us by her Son from the Cross, she is the “Stabat Mater,” the Standing Mother. Mary faced the worst nightmare of any mother’s life – the torture and death of her only child – her Son. She stood upon her faith at the Cross of her Son. She didn’t wail and whimper – she stood strong – knowing the power Christ held even over death itself. Our Stabat Mater stands with us as she stood at the Cross, with her heart filled with grace and peace, leaving no room for bitterness, anger, or any kind of darkness.
We have much work to do! We cannot share a peace that we do not have. We are summoned to use the means that the Lord Jesus has given us, roll up our sleeves, fan our hope into flame, and joyfully accept, announce, and be an instrument of God’s peace in the struggles and uncertainties of our world today.
About the Author: Fr. Jeffrey Kirby S.T.L.
Father Jeffrey Kirby, STD, is a Senior Contributor to the Crux news site. He is an author with Our Sunday Visitor, Ave Maria Press, and Saint Benedict Press/TAN Books. He is a Papal Missionary of Mercy and is the Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Indian Land, South Carolina.
As a Missionary of Mercy, Father Kirby felt a deep desire to give a sense of hope to his people as he watched them suffer in so many ways during the covid-19 quarantine in the Easter Season of 2020. His homilies of that period gave birth to his newest book Living in Peace, part of the Companion in Faith series, published by Our Sunday Visitor.
Life in the world today has changed dramatically in just one year. Fear, anxiety, agitation and anger have become so prevalent in our society today. Living in Peace is an experienced and inspiring guide to the way of God’s Peace as we navigate through the uncharted troubled waters of life today, in the way of a global pandemic, loss of job security, civil unrest, hostile politics, and the list goes on.