Maintaining Peace

A dear mom friend of mine told me that this spring that she had experienced  TMJ.  I listened with concern over my friend’s discomfort, and I wondered why all moms didn’t suffer from it.  TMJ ought to be the natural consequence of becoming a mother.  With the diapers, discipline, meals, sleeplessness, cleaning, maintaining work, play, and charitable commitments, and (maybe sometimes) keeping up our appearance and a smile, that all moms’ jaws don’t clench shut permanently (perhaps even on a small arm after a long morning at home) is nothing short of miraculous.

When the stress of my responsibilities at home crash into deep frustration with how everything there is going, it’s so easy for me to lose my peace.  When I feel as though I am working so hard and seeing no change for the better, it is then that I have to return to my bookshelf and find my beautiful little book entitled Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Father Jacques Philippe (Society of St. Paul).  At 110 pages, it’s a powerful little read, aimed at “filling one’s quiver” with responses to our reasons for our disquietude.  A favorite section of mine is entitled “The Reasons Why We Lose Our Peace Are Always Bad Reasons”.

Father Phillippe writes

If we seek peace as the world give it, if we expect peace in accordance with the reasoning of the world, or with the motivations that accord with the current mentality that surrounds us (because everything is going well, because we aren’t experiencing any annoyances and our desires are completely satisfied, etc.), then it Is certain that we will never know peace or that our peace will be extremely fragile and of short duration…For us believers, the essential reason by virtue of which we can always be at peace does not come from this world.  My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:16). It comes from trust in the Word of Jesus…Since Jesus tells us, even twice, that He gives us His peace, we believe that this peace is never taken away.  God’s gifts and his calling are irrevocable (Romans 11:29) (p.14).

Given how yesterday went, I think I’ll be keeping this within reach today.

You made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” –St. Augustine (16).

Copyright 2012 Meg Matenaer