Surrendering & Maintaining Peace

Lately my heart has been stuck on the idea of reflection. One of my favorite spiritual authors is Father Jacques Phillippe. At the beginning of his work titled, Searching for and Maintaining Peace, he brings up the image of a lake with the sun above it. When the lake is calm and tranquil, it is easier to see the reflection of the sun in the water. However when the lake is disturbed by the wind or some other outside force, the same reflection of the sun in the water becomes distorted by the ripples and waves. This image helps me to remember that peace is necessary if I want to be a reflection of Christ in the world. Of course, maintaining peace of mind, body, and soul is easier said than done. I often allow “pebbles” or tiny disturbances or annoyances to be thrown in my spiritual lake and disturb my peace. 

Long lines at the grocery store, a driver that cuts me off on the road, my Amazon order arriving late, or seeing a cockroach in the kitchen are a few things that can derail my day. Then there are bigger things that can disturb the waters of my soul and keep me from reflecting Christ. Beyond the outside pressures that can come from work, family, friends, and living in an increasingly anti-Christian society, one of the biggest rocks that disturbs my peace is watching the people closest to me suffer and being powerless to ease their pain. My mind races anxiously to come up with answers or solutions to help their situation only to end up frustrated and unsettled. Not being in control may seem like a cross, but Jesus and his Mother show us that it can also be an opportunity for grace. 

“May it be done to me according to your word” are the words of our Lady, when she accepted God’s will for her at the expense of any plans she may have had for herself. “Not my will, but yours be done” are the words of our Lord, who accepted his Father’s will, even though that meant he had to suffer and die for the sins of mankind. Both Jesus and Mary were able to maintain their peace through unexpected trials and unimaginable sufferings because they were anchored in a spirit of surrender and trust. 

Putting ourselves in a spirit of surrender and trust can prepare us for a more reflective time of prayer and bring more peace to our lives. In order to reflect and be honest with ourselves, we must first surrender our pride and give up any false image that we use to hide our faults and failings. Then we must trust that if we remain still, quiet our minds, and give up control, God will show up and shine his light on our souls. Once we do this, once we silence our hearts and make ourselves receptive to God’s word, we may find that we can finally hear him speak. 

My challenge for myself and for all those reading is to imitate our Lady, who took time to ponder things in her heart.  Spend at least the first 5 minutes of prayer in silence. Take time to surrender anything that is disturbing your peace to God and trust that He will take care of everything. 

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us