From Deacon Dick
In Search of True Peace
True Peace among the human family is increasingly elusive in our time. Whenever we are enticed to cede our ultimate loyalty to an institution, a tribe, a group, or a person other than Jesus the Christ, the path of True Peace is obscured. And so during vacation I was drawn to read again a timely and insightful book by Johann Christoph Arnold entitled: “Seeking Peace: Notes and Conversations Along the Way.” I highly recommend it! In it Arnold keenly observes: “True peace has nothing to do with passivity or resignation. It is not for the spineless or self-absorbed or for those content with a quiet life. Peace demands that we live honestly before God, before others, and in the light of our own conscience … and that demands deeds of love.”
Arnold’s chapter on “Silence” begins with an observation from Richard J. Foster. Where do we find ourselves and those engaged at all levels of public discourse in the following?
“The tongue is our most powerful weapon of manipulation. A frantic stream of words flows from us because we are in a constant process of adjusting our public image. We fear so deeply what we think other people see in us that we talk in order to straighten out their understanding. If I have done something wrong and I discover that you know about it, I will be tempted to help you understand my action.
Silence is one of the deepest disciplines of the Spirit, because it puts the stopper on all self-justification. One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier. We don’t need to straighten others out.”
Through the discipline of silence, may we discern that our first, foremost, and final loyalty is to the person of Jesus the Christ whose love and mercy is the basis for all subordinate loyalties. Because of us, may True Peace be a bit less elusive in our time as we pray: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:11)