Is your heart restless? Do you struggle with prayers not being answered? Are you worried about what is happening in the world? Do you need more peace in your life? Father Jacques Philippe details some powerful answers to these questions in his book, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart.
In the short book, Father Philippe sets out to teach the reader how to maintain a peace of heart that allows a soul to discover God’s will in all things and remain faithful in the midst of any trial. He describes the task of his book by using an analogy:
“Consider the surface of a lake, above which the sun is shining. If the surface of the lake is peaceful and tranquil, the sun will be reflected in this lake; and the more peaceful the lake, the more perfectly will it be reflected. If, on the contrary, the surface of the lake is agitated, undulating, then the image of the sun can not be reflected in it…The more our soul is peaceful and tranquil, the more God is reflected in it, the more His image expresses itself in us, the more His grace acts through us.”
Father Philippe explains that “God is a God of peace. He does not speak and does not operate except in peace, not in trouble and agitation…Often, we cause ourselves to become agitated and disturbed by trying to resolve everything by ourselves, when it would be more efficacious to remain peacefully before the gaze of God and to allow Him to act and work in us.”
According to Father Philippe the Christian soul needs to develop a habit of meditative prayer, one that focuses on gazing at Jesus in simplicity and humility, stirring within a love of God. He writes, “The heart does not awaken to confidence until it awakens to love; we need to feel the gentleness and the tenderness of the Heart of Jesus. This cannot be obtained except by the habit of meditative prayer, by this tender repose in God which is contemplative.”
It is this type of contemplative prayer that we wish to begin each day with our Daily Offering. We start the day resting in the love and presence of God and entrust everything to him, offering to God our thoughts, words, joys and sorrows of the coming day. Through this Daily Offering, we recognize the peace of God and invoke his intercession to bring that peace into the world.
In the end, our God is a God of peace. Let us not forget that and always strive to abandon ourselves to him, trusting that he is in charge and will always bring about a greater good out of any evil.