doesn’t want it?
Who has it?
How do we achieve it?
Peace of mind requires discipline. There is no way around it.
No one wants discipline because discipline requires effort; it
How many books have been written about “Peace of Mind” and how to acquire
How many times have we been told, “Have peace of mind!” It is much like
telling a hungry man, “Be full!” It doesn’t work. The hungry man must
work to eat his bread. Likewise, we must put effort into attaining peace
of mind. There is no solution apart from effort. Let this sink in. There
is no solution without effort.
If you cannot agree with this first point, then forget the rest of this
article — it will be useless to you — and so will every other “effortless”
means that you search for. It is one reason that the corrosive culture
of drugs has become so prevalent: euphoria without effort. “Just
smoke this, snort that, or take this pill.” It is a lazy man’s means
to a fictional and all too often tragic end.
Do you want peace of mind? Memorize these words:
“All things work
together for the good for those who love God.”
“Scimus autem qouniam diligentibus Deum, omnia cooperantur in bonum.”
This is from Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (8.28)
Absolutely nothing — nothing — happens to you except that
God either wills it or allows it; most often for your own sanctification,
but always to the good, no matter how opaque it seems to you, regardless
of how blind you are to it … nothing. NOTHING!
You must work at believing this. You must put effort into incorporating
this absolutely vital understanding. Your happiness depends on it, and
thus, your peace of mind.
If what Saint Paul tells us is so, then why worry? Why fear? Why become
annoyed? Angry? Each of these deprives you of peace — and you know it!
Why let them enter your mind since they are harmful to you? The choice,
after all, is yours. We always choose to allow these things to
consume us. Why? It is easier. It is really that simple. It is easier
to choose/allow/permit ourselves to become angry. To choose to restrain
it is work. And, as I had said, we are lazy. It requires effort to suppress
anger, and especially fear. It is easier to let them devour us (and
others along with us) than it is to spit them out as the poison that
It is easier, more pleasant, requires less effort, to swallow honey
tinged with poison than to vomit it out as deadly to you. It is easier
to savor than to spit. And this is the point: expectoration, spitting
out as of something vile and harmful to you. Anger, fear, worry, anxiety
— everything that robs you of peace of mind: you either choose to swallow
or spit out. The choice is yours. And so are the consequences.
Do you REALLY believe in God? Then you know that
all things are within His providence. He is almighty, all-knowing. He
is perfectly loving beyond your comprehension. He is absolutely, incomprehensibly
good. And all things are in His hands.
I am not going to get into a theodicy here (a defense of God’s goodness
in the face of existing evil). I discuss that elsewhere (
) and suggest you spend some time on it.
I am writing to the believing Catholic, to the believing Christian,
and if you will, to all men (and yes, of course, to women as well, if
I must waste my time being be tiresomely “correct”).
If , as I have said, “Absolutely nothing — nothing — happens
to you except that God either wills it or allows it; most often for
your own sanctification, but always to the good, no matter how opaque
it seems to you, regardless of how blind you are to it” then you have
the not-so-secret “secret” of peace of mind. If God Himself is behind
all that befalls you and causes you worry, fear, anger, anxiety, and
so on — if this present affliction “works to your good”, then why fear
it? Why be angered by it? Annoyed with it? He is allowing it for your
own good — and Who knows what is good for you better than God Himself?
You? I don’t think so.
Saint Paul’s words can be summarized as this: Trust in God Who loves
you and will never fail you. If you love Him, everything works together
for your good. EVERYTHING. ALWAYS. EVERYWHERE.
That is peace of mind. It is not within you. It is in God alone. We’ve
all tried to find it elsewhere … and we have all been disillusioned
and disabused, every one of us outside of God.
Boston Catholic Journal
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