Thought for the Day – 26 March – True Peace

Thought for the Day – 26 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

True Peace

“When He came into the world, Jesus proclaimed peace.
The Angels hovering over His humble manger, sang songs of glory to God on high and of peace to men of goodwill on earth.
During His earthly pilgrimage, He often spoke of peace.
When He forgave sinners their faults, He said to each of them, “Go in peace” and “sin no more” (Lk 7:50; 8:48; Jn 8:11).
When He was leaving this earth, He bequeathed His peace to His Apostles, as if it were a sacred heirloom: “Peace I leave with you, My peace, I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27).
We can see, from these words, that the peace of Jesus, is not the same as worldly peace.

The Church, in its liturgy, implores from God, that peace which the world cannot give.
When the world speaks of peace, it means, normally, the external public peace which flows from respect for the law and for the established regime.
This is peace, there is no doubt about that.
It is necessary and is a gift from God.
But, it is not enough.
We need the inner peace of soul of which we have already spoken, for it is the only true and solid foundation for external peace.
Without this peace of soul, external peace is uncertain and fleeting.

We have said, that true peace is based on three things: Right order, harmony and liberty.
But, in order to obtain full and perfect peace, still one more thing is necessary – complete and loving abandonment to the will of God.
The beginning of real peace and holiness, lies in doing the will of God in every detail.
The perfection of peace and holiness, is to do the will of God in everything, purely from love for Him.

Dante expresses this profound idea when he decries the peace of the blessed in Heaven, now unshakeable in their joyful compliance with the divine will.

“E la sua volontate e nostra pace:
Ella E quel mare, al qual tutto si move
cio ch’ella crea E che natura face.”

“His Will is our repose:
He is the ocean, into which everything flows,
which He has created in the universe.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Thought for the Day – 1 February – True Peace

Thought for the Day – 1 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

True Peace

true peace flourishes in an atmosphere of good - bacci 1 fe 2020

Everybody desires peace but very few people possess it.
A good many profound and beautiful definitions have been attempted.
Cicero called it “tranquilla libertas,” which one might translate as “undisturbed freedom.”
His general idea was that there can be no peace without liberty.
St Augustine defined it as “Hominum ordinata concordia” (De Civitate Dei, XLX, 13) or “Ordered agreement among men.”
St Thomas Aquinas followed on the same lines when he said, that peace was “tranquillitas ordinis” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q.29, a1 ad 1) or “tranquillity of order.”
There are three necessary elements in peace.
They are order, harmony and liberty.
Right order is the most important.
Everything in us must be in it’s proper place.
As we have shown in the preceding meditation, our lower faculties must be entirely subordinate to right reason and, this must be completely subject to the law of God.

Every act of rebellion against this proper order, creates confusion in our nature and makes peace impossible.
Furthermore, there must be harmony and agreement.
This means that our minds must voluntarily accept and embrace this just order and not merely endure it with reluctance.
As St Thomas Aquinas says, peace is an act of charity, it comes indirectly from justice and directly from charity.   (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 29, a1, ad 3).
We have perfect peace when this just order holds sway within us provided that we are not enduring it, as if it were a yoke but lovingly accepting it, under the inspiration of divine charity.
This is that genuine peace which gives us the liberty of the sons of God, that freedom from evil, with which Christ has set us free (Cf Gal 4:31, 2 Cor 3:17).
True peace flourishes in an atmosphere of goodness and perishes when it encounters evil.
Whether it is in the field of social relations or in the spiritual life, peace without liberty is not peace at all but slavery and death!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci