Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Peace

“The peace of God is a beautiful thing; it is there for each of us if we desire it. Assuredly, just as we miss the sound of a gentle wind blowing through the trees during a busy day, so we miss and take for granted the peace of God that is all around us. It is as close to us as a breeze brushing across our face. It is as close to us as the present moment, yet we often look for it in the past and future.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“Foremost among these fruits is the restorative peace of God that fills our hearts when we focus upon Him. The peace of God is our remedy to all the barriers that potentially stand in our way of attaining a closer communion with Christ, the crucified and risen Lord. In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul describes the peace of God as a peace which passes all understanding, and which keeps our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (4:7). Through daily prayer and communal worship, we grow in our realization of His perfect peace. In turn, we enhance our relationships with others, for only with a peaceful heart may we cultivate the love, trust, and mutual respect among our neighbors which Christ commands us to develop (Matthew 22:39, John 15:17)… With the peace of God also comes great spiritual liberation.” (Archbishop Demetrios)


“Despite all the wonders of medical science conquering the many diseases, they cannot “heal the brokenhearted.” That phrase describes the anguish, grief, self-pity and suffering that is both spiritual and psychological. What medication can be prescribed for a tormented soul? What is the pill that offers bliss to the miserable? Who but God alone can bring joy to a wounded heart, and how does He do that other than to convey it through us? And when you find such a heart overwhelmed with joy, laughing when there’s nothing funny, just from sheer delight, sensing love and returning that love, when such a heart is filled with serenity, the peace of God that passes beyond all understanding, at one with God and all others…” (Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky)


“God’s peace is a gift of God, part of His grace. The peace of God is more than a mere feeling; it is given to those who genuinely desire God and a life in communion with Him. The peace of God comes from continual awareness of God, of His presence, and from communion with Him through prayer. It is a quiet contentment and joy that comes from knowing that God is present. The peace of God cannot coexist with fear or anxiety.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“Imagine a child who is lost and confused, and then suddenly his father appears on the scene. Even though the child may still be confused about where he is, the presence of his father causes him to be flooded with a sense of incredible peace. That is how the remembrance of God can be for us: when we turn to Him in our difficulties, we can experience a peace that is not dependent on understanding where we are, where we are headed, or how everything will eventually work out. In God’s arms, we can be like a little child whose entire experience is bathed in his parents’ love.” (Robin Phillips)


“How dangerous it is for our salvation, how unworthy of God and of ourselves, how pernicious even for the peace of our hearts, to want always to stay where we are! Our whole life was only given us to advance us by great strides toward our heavenly country." (François Fénelon)


“Abba Poemen said of Abba John the Dwarf that he had prayed God to take his passions away from him so that he might become free from care. He went and told an old man this; 'I find myself in peace, without an enemy,' he said. The old man said to him, 'Go beseech God to stir up warfare so that you may regain the affliction and humility that you used to have, for it is by warfare that the soul makes progress.' So he besought God and when warfare came, he no longer prayed that it might be taken away, but said, 'Lord, give me strength for the fight.’” (St. John Kolovos)


“ "Many people," a modern spiritual writer says, "have the virtue of humility in some circumstances. They then succumb to a supposed demand of their social stature or profession and, under the guise of 'social necessity' or 'professionalism,' become arrogant in other circumstances. This is much like mixing soil and water in a container. When the container is untouched and at rest, the soil will settle and the water will remain sweet. But if the container is agitated, then the water and the soil are mixed and become mud. The mud then dries, the water evaporates, and only soil is left. Thus only a person of true peace, incapable of agitation, can actually maintain humble virtue, meanwhile tolerating in himself any ostensibly worldly behavior.” (V. Rev. Chrysostomos)


“Adversarial conflict is our present reality (Luke 12:58-59). Families are torn apart and fragmented by hate (Luke 12:52-53). Every disciple needs to be aware of the conditions that set “father . . . against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother” (Luke 12: 53). Very often the conflict seems to come not from unseen, demonic foes, but from those near and dear to us. People we rely upon fail us, and we betray our friends. Yes, people wrong us, and we in turn wrong others. This is the present spiritual war. In the no-man’s land where we are often caught up in a spiritual crossfire between hate and wrong, we survive by speaking the truth, by loving and forgiving. The Lord teaches us how to stay alive in a war zone: “When you pray, say . . . forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us” (Luke 11:2, 4).” (Dynamis 11/11/2020)


“…true joy, and true peace are found only in Him. We cannot achieve them on our own by following a code of conduct, even one in the Scriptures. Only by humbling ourselves and admitting what it is within us that needs to be cured can that cure be received. Only when we understand that the first one to fail before the standard by which we judge others is we ourselves can we give up on such a standard, and freely receive the blessings which Christ lavishes upon each and every one of us, and be worthy of them by being thankful for them. Only when I accept that I am the bad person in a world of the blessed can Christ begin to heal and reshape me into the person whom He always intended for me to be.” (Father Stephen De Young)


“Our spirit is saddened, everything is sorrow and suffering. You have seen for yourself: when you are in a state of peace, all is well, but here in this life, such peace does not last for long. It is disturbed very easily. For this reason we must always be in contact with the Source of life, with God—always, without ceasing.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)


“For it is true that peace and joy is the greatest wealth for a Christian both in this world and the next. We all long for it. We can have many material things, we can have everything we want, but it is all in vain if we do not have peace. And peace comes from the Fountain of Peace, from the Lord.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)


“… the Lord Jesus directs the disciples to maintain His peace within themselves. They desperately need His peace if they are to survive the time between His going away and His coming back (vss. 14:27-31). We likewise need His peace if we are to survive this present dark age.” (Dynamis 6/1/2020)


“…we discover the key to facing every trial that comes to us during this life. We gain and hold onto the Lord Jesus’ peace only by abiding in Him. In this message lies the secret of how not to be troubled. We begin by recognizing the peace of the Lord as a unique type of peace, not to be confused with the term used by the world to describe a non-warring condition between nations and groups during which violence and civil commotion remain at a minimum. Christ’s peace is a condition of the heart that exists when the love of God is known and returned to Him (John 14:28). Within our Christian communities, peace is the natural, God-given concomitant of holy communion and fellowship.” (Dynamis 6/1/2020)


“Justice and peace do not come with revolution, but when the Holy Spirit transforms the hearts of men and women." (Abbot Tryphon)


“In this life we must prepare ourselves for life in the Heavenly Kingdom and we must attain Divine peace. No one can give us that peace; only God can give peace to created beings and to us if we seek Him and long for Him with all our heart and if we desire to become one with Him. He wants our souls to be united with Him, with His Divine will. He wants our entire being to become one with Him in order that we may feel the joy of living. We, on the other hand, get very involved in this material life and we have no time to think about our soul, about our inner peace. We are always shattering our inner peace.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“We don’t find peace by everything outside ourselves being perfect, but by acquiring an internal mindset that enables us to be wise rather than merely shrewd.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“Before we can have peace on a macro level (the world), we must learn to find peace on a micro level (within ourselves and with those around us). Before we can talk about peace in the world, we must find peace within ourselves.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Now a peacemaker is a man who gives peace to another, but one cannot give another what he himself does not possess. Hence the Lord wants you first to be yourself filled with the blessings of peace, and then to communicate it to those who have need of it...” (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

“…true peace will not be produced by getting what we want in every situation. It can only result from placing primary value on what we believe God wants of us (obedience), being in true solidarity with others in life (community), and doing everything in a spirit of love (the greatest law of life).” (Robert J. Wicks)

"By choosing what is good and in accordance with the teachings of Christ, one gains peace and life. Conversely, by choosing that which goes against the commandments of God, one brings anguish, destruction, and death upon oneself and one’s surroundings." (Archimandrite Sergius)

“According to the Orthodox Study Bible, Jerusalem means “foundation of peace.” Christ is the Prince of Peace. When He came to bring His peace to the city, to what was supposed to be the place of peace (Luke 19:41-44), He wept and lamented that the city did not recognize “the things that make for your peace” (Luke 19:42). So it often goes with us. We do not recognize that it is Him that makes for our peace and we seek inner peace and tranquility in other ways that may work for a time but the consistent peace of Christ eludes us because we do not recognize that He is the true source of peace.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

"Let me be reminded that any loss of peace I feel is not a sign of any lack in God, but of a lack in me; a loss of focus in me. Because He remains the same, in perfect and omniscient peace, and in His perfect willingness to impart His peace on me." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“Most of us are familiar with the hymn of the Angels at the Nativity. Most often we remember it as “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.” This translation denotes that God’s gift of peace is for all people. Certainly, His wish is for peace to reign among all people. But the most correct translation of this phrase is “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among men with whom He is pleased!” In this translation, we learn that peace is not a right granted to everyone who merely lives and breathes, but rather it is a Gift, a Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) that is bestowed upon those who please God. Peace is a trait that is cultivated by each person, and those who cultivate it well, reap the fruit of their work.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Peace is the integrity and health of the soul; to lose peace is to lose spiritual health.” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“There are two kinds of peace. False peace…is a shallow harmony that results from ignoring issues of truth. Genuine peace is reconciliation to God through faith in Christ and surrender to truth. Genuine peace has division as a byproduct because not everyone wants truth. In the fallen world, divisions are necessary for truth to be manifest” (The Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 12:51)

“It would be a great lie to tell searching souls: ‘Go to church, because there you will find peace.’ The opposite is true. The Church tells those who are at peace and asleep: ‘Go to church, because there you will feel real anguish for your sins, for your perdition, for the world’s sins and perdition. There you will feel an unappeasable hunger for Christ’s truth. There, instead of becoming lukewarm, you will be set on fire; instead of pacified, you will become alarmed; instead of learning the wisdom of this world you will become fools for Christ.” (St. Maria of Paris)

“How can there be peace, when people are not reconciled with God? Only when man is reconciled with God can inward and outward peace come. But for us to be reconciled with God, we must first attain awareness, we must repent, we must live in accordance with God’s commandments, and then the Grace and peace of God will enter into us, enabling us to also help create peace around us.” (Elder Paisios of Mount Athos)

"When we look at the statistics we find greater mental illness and dissatisfaction in affluent countries and there is a higher frequency of marital breakdown amongst the rich than the poor. Of course the reality behind these statistics may be complicated, but the simple fact is that the lives of wealthy people are not full of peace." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“There is a spiritual peace that can only come from God. This peace passes all understanding, because it is neither a military peace nor a material peace. For those who know the peace of God, they have this intangible quality about them. They almost seem to rise above petty conflict. This kind of peace is cultivated through prayer and meditation on the scriptures. It is also found in service to others.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“The commandment not to worry is contrary to reason. It is part of the “foolishness of God” which is “wiser than the wisdom of men,” (cf 1 Corinthians 1:25). Actually, I’ve put it badly. The commandment is not contrary to reason. It is above reason. It transcends it. It makes sense only if the horizons of reason are extended farther out than the mind, unaided by grace “can see it. In other words, the commandment “do not worry” can be kept only by people of faith and hope. Only a trusting heart can hear the Lord’s words and keep them with that peace of mind..." (Hieromonk Maximos)

“Fear is a powerful enemy of our faith and a strong deterrent to the believer’s peace of mind…We can overcome fear by trusting God for his protection in our darkest hour... Faith in God keeps us from losing hope and helps us resist fear…yet faith needs time to mature.” (Life Application Study Bible, Isaiah 8:11-15, Psalm 3:1-2, Psalms 11:1-4, 1 Timothy 3:1-6)

“Too often I am self-seeking in prayer. I seek Jesus wanting to know His will for me because I want peace of mind and heart, no anxiety, a healing in thought or body for myself and/or others, or something. It’s really hard for me to just truly want to be in relationship with Him with no strings attached and let Him direct my life as He wills. It’s hard for me to let my life and what I do be a by-product of a right relationship with Him. Too often I want things on my terms and unconsciously, or consciously, seek Him in prayer to sanction and support my desires. Too often I fall into this mindset before I wake up and realize that even though I want do good things I am actually trying to direct my own life and essentially asking Him if He’ll support it.” (Sacramental Living)

“If one opens his mind and heart to accept the gift of the Holy Spirit in the belief in the True God, he will realize a great difference in himself, having peace of mind and harmony of living which bring about a living faith.” (Rev. George Mastrantonis)

“Real peace comes from faith in God, because He alone embodies all the characteristics of peace. To find peace of mind and peace with others, you must find peace with God…For true peace lies in a noetic union with Christ and wells up from deep down inside the core of one’s being. It is a peace arising from oneness of heart with Him Who said, “My peace I give to you” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 122:6-9, Dynamis 2/10/13)

“To be at peace is to have peace inside yourself more or less in spite of what is going on outside yourself.” (Frederick Buechner)