Re:Who give peace to my Family ?
- Mrs. Mary John-Haskins,
New Sunday has just passed. Following the great feast of Easter, Jesus Christ appears to His disciples as they are full of fear and anxiety with these words:
"Peace be with you"
In New Sunday's Gospel reading, these words are constantly repeated. He visits the disciples eight days later and first says,
"Peace be with you"
This is what Christ offers us. Peace. It can only be found in Him.
Your post has made me realize how I, myself, fall into the temptation of taking away this peace in my life. It's so tempting, so tempting, to talk about the current satanic division in our church. The moment I start speaking of it, my emotions get high, my attention changes, and my peace is gone.
Being a seminarian at St. Vladimir's around friends who are from the other faction only intensifies this experience. We've had many, many arguments that lead to nowhere. I stand where I stand, and they stand where they stand. What has it brought except lack of peace? In fact, last year, we made a commitment to give up talking about our church disputes for Great Lent!
All these arguments only divide and bring hate. This is what Satan wants. To divide us from our families and friends. To bring on the mentality of "us against them". Conversations deal with church disputes instead of Christ. After church, we debate about the latest news. And what better time for the recent court verdict to come out than during Holy Week? The devil is much smarter than we think.
Only God knows when these disputes will end. According to the last verdict, after 100 years of fighting and countless money spent on lawyers and judges, it said the court cases will continue!
As time passes, the more I realize the value of silence. I've seen examples of people on both sides that don't want to discuss these issues. When the topic is brought up, they either remain silent or change the subject. They know it'll lead to nowhere. Why lose our peace over it?
But our church has also taught us that tragedies and sufferings in our life are meant to draw us closer to God. As we are hurt by this division, we take it to the Lord in prayer. Our prayers should be strengthened.
When we face the temptation to argue endlessly, I hope we can save this energy for more important matters such as the building up of our church, especially for the sake of our coming generations.
Let us pray for this Peace that Christ can only give us.
St. Vladimir's, New York