Kinds of False Peace

In St. Teresa’s Meditations on the Song of Songs she outlines the kinds of false peace that comes from the world, devil and flesh.  False peace is the kind of peace that worldly people have, and this is the kind of peace that brings perpetual war. These people are quiet, yet go about living in serious sin. They have made peace with their vices. Their consciences are undisturbed and they do not feel any remorse about anything. Such is the state of souls in mortal sin. Having made friends with the devil, he leaves them alone. However, the devil could offer the friends of God peace in small things. St. Teresa tells us that we should greatly fear this kind of peace.

St. Teresa explains that we can begin to grow lax in small matters and persist in them without any prick in our conscience, which will result in peace – a bad kind of peace.

St. Teresa give some examples of the small matters that the devil can draw a soul into: “an infraction of something in the constitutions, which in itself would not be a sin, or being careless, even though without malice, about what the bishop commands (in fact he stands in God’s place, and it is good always- for this reason we have come here – to consider what he desires), and many other little things that come along which in themselves do not appear to be sins. In sum, there are faults and always will be, for we are miserable creatures.” (Meditations on the Song of Songs, 2, 2)

Basically, she is telling us that when we commit some fault we should feel it and understand that it was a fault.

If we don’t feel that a fault has been committed then we can be sure that the devil is rejoicing. “He will go further”, she says, and we should “for love of God be very careful. There must be war in this life.” We cannot just sit idle; we must be about the battle.

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Our saint does not wish to instill a sense of scrupulosity in souls. Her main point is summed up in this counsel: “ Always fear when some fault you commit does not grieve you. For in regard to sin, even venial, you already know that the soul must feel deep sorrow.” We don’t want venial sins, those faults that are committed habitually without any attention to them, to become so much a part of our lives that we never feel them.

Holy Peace

St. Teresa of Jesus  writes that, “Holy peace consist in a union with God’s will, of such a kind that no dissension arises between the will of God and the soul, but they are both one – not in words or in desires alone but in works. When a soul finds that by doing something it can serve its Spouse better, it listens to no objections raised by its mind, nor to any fears. . . but allows faith to act, and considers not its own profit nor its own tranquillity.” (Conceptions of the Love of God, 3)

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“A kiss is the sign of great peace and friendship among two persons.”

(St. Teresa of Jesus, Meditations on the Song of Songs, 1,10)

What True Peace Consists of

 

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“At Bethlehem the angels announced two things: glory to God and peace to men; the one corresponds to the other. No one glorifies God as much as that little Baby lying on the straw. He alone, being the eternal Word, can give God the perfect, infinite praise that is worthy of Him. And no one more than Jesus, our Savior, brings peace to men; making reparation for sin, He reconciles man with His Creator and establishes a new covenant between them: the Creator will become Father, and man, His son.

Something similar is verified in our daily life. Those who obey God’s law enjoy peace; observing the divine law they also glorify God. The glory of God corresponds perfectly to the peace of men. But we are treating of that peace which comes only from Jesus, from His grace, peace which we will seek in vain elsewhere.

“Peace is the tranquility of order.” Order is established by the law and will of God. Those who respect this order fully, posses the plenitude of interior peace; those who depart from it, even in a slight degree, lose their peace in proportion to their deviation from it. Peace is the refreshment and repose of the soul in the midst of the struggles and sorrows of life, but this is not the only reason for which we should try to obtain and possess it. We should desire it above all because it gives glory to God.”

(Divine Intimacy, #33, Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD)

Apostolic Prayer

Prayer is supernatural work. Through prayer I seek to convert, sanctify and save my soul and the souls of others. This is the apostolate of those who pray: for conversion and sanctification of souls.

The more I pray, the more I will achieve. Sometimes I set aside prayer due to lukewarmness. Nevertheless, I strongly desire holiness, mine and that of others. So I endeavor to be an apostle more by prayer than by exterior action.

Prayer also adds to my exterior works. I should pray before taking action so that God will grant it success, the success that He desires.