My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
THE VALUE OF PEACE
There can be no peace unless there is faith and prayer. And he who truly seeks peace, is he, whose heart and mind seek the Lord, Jesus Christ. There can be no peace without our Savior and Redeemer. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:9). Our Master Himself is the source of peace. Our Lord reveals Himself to us as the Great Reconciler, the Prince of Peace (Ephesians 2:14,16). The Holy Spirit gives peace, the Sign of God’s presence. to those who imitate Him.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov said, "Aquire the Spirit of peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved." And Saint Anatoly of Optina states: "Wherever God is – there is peace. And the opposite is self-evident: where there is envy, enmity, impatience, self-love – there is the devil. Wherever the devils – there, everything is ruinous, proudn and hostile."
Without peace nothing can be accomplished. Peace is essential to pray, peace is essential to grow spiritually, peace is essential to love, peace is essential to forgive, peace is essential to build, and peace is essential to commune with our Creator. Peace is God’s gift to us. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I GIVE TO YOU; not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:27). Perfect peace is brought by the Messiah, who carries out the work of salvation and reconciles man with God.
Peace is not exclusively a Christian need, but also a human need. It is indispensable to all human beings, not only to have peace, but to be always at peace with Almighty God and withe one another. It is a fact that peace can be illusive and at times a rare experience for the average person. Yet, we can NOT do without it. Even at our worship during the Divine Liturgy the priest shouts, "Peace be to all."
"So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be to you!" As Christians we do not see this as simply a greeting from the Lord, but a great blessing. Understanding how necessary to our life peace is, we cannot, but to accepted it, as a special gift from Him to us. Saint Maximus the Confessor advises us to "stop defiling your flesh with shameful deeds and polluting your soul with wicked thoughts; then the peace of God will send upon you and bring you love."
Another Great Holy Father of the Church, Saint Seraphim of Sarov wrote: "There is nothing better than peace in Christ, for it brings victory over all the evil spirits on earth and in the air. When peace dwells in a man’s heart it enables him to contemplate the graceof the Holy Spirit from within. He who dwells in peace collects spiritual gifts as it were with a scoop and he sheds the light of knowledge on others. All our thoughts, all our desires, all our efforts, and all our actions should make us say constantly with the Church: "O Lord, give us peace! When a man lives in peace, God reveals Mysteries to him."
Saint Isaac the Syrian stated: "The soul that loves God has its vest in God and in God alone. In all the paths that men walk in the world, they do not attain peace until they draw near to hope in God." Our Lord Christ reminds us that none of us need to go very far to meet with God "For indeed; THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU" (Luke 17:21). Also, we are reminded that His ver name, Immanuel, means when translated, "GOD WITH US." (Matthew 1:23). Where God is so is His Kingdom! His Kingdom, is the Kingdom of peace! The Kingdom of Agape!
God’s will is that His Kingdom on earth is to be a Kingdom of peace too. We, as His followers, need to be His instruments of peace. Our world has known warfare and conflict, the loss of precious life, injustice, and often cruelty. God’s world was never meant to be abused, exploited and mismanaged by man,but for man, to be a good stward of it. "Then God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it, and HAVE DOMINION over the fish of the sea, over the birds of heaven, and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). However, the reality is, that mankind has proven not to be reliable or responsible or obedient to God’s will. When God handed over His creation t102:22).o man, "everything He had made, was indeed, it was very good," (Genesis 1:31).
Man has failed to maintain God’s creation and peace and harmony within the world which he lives in. It is time for us all to ask His forgiveness and with great and sincere humility to repent of our sins. Follow the example of the Psalmist and his words, "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall always be in my mouth, and in all places of His dominion, bless the Lord, O my soul!" (Psalm 102:22).
According to the Holy Scripture, the most powerful prayer is short prayer that is done from the depth of the heart, with sighs and tears: "Our of teh depths have I cried to Thee, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice" (Psalm 129:1). Such short prayer was used by the thief on the cross, the Cananite woman, the apostles when they were caught in the storm on the Sea of Galilee, the blind mand of Jericho and the leper.
Peace be on to you!
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostom
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George