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SPIRITUAL PEACE - 31st Sunday, Year A

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Our age seeks peace! Many are looking for spiritual peace consciously and unconsciously. Many are troubled within their spirit. There are many cause for inner unrest. Some of these are normal, such as those that come to adolescents or mid-lifers or anyone in a major transition in their life, or suffering a major loss, or natural disaster.

Someone may be very busy and not at peace on some levels, but at peace on the deeper spiritual and moral levels in relationship to God, others and themselves. Those that have spiritual peace are better equipped to deal with other areas of unrest or lack of peace, such as those that come in passing through different stages of life, dealing with one’s work and family responsibilities, accidents, losses, natural disasters, and other disturbing matters of life.

The kind of peace we need to be most concerned with is moral and spiritual peace. Most often lack of spiritual peace is caused by moral disorders and failure to take responsibility for one’s life and decisions. Our age speaks frequently about denial in the areas of drug and alcohol addictions, but too little about moral denial on all levels of the moral and spiritual life. The denial and repression of moral guilt for seriously violating the Commandments and one’s conscience means the person cannot have true moral and spiritual peace. If someone is truly physically hungry, an emotional word of support is still going to leave them hungry. The same is true if someone is truly spiritually not at peace. No matter how many means the person uses to distract themselves or remove the guilt, if the remedies are not spiritual and moral, the person will not achieve true spiritual peace.

Spiritual peace results from going through the stages of repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and following the ways of the Lord that lead to spiritual peace. Failure to do so undercuts moral and spiritual peace. Moral and spiritual peace cannot come to someone who denies and violates the spiritual laws of life.

Many could find spiritual peace if they would acknowledge and confess their sins, and begin to live a moral life according to the Scriptures and teaching of faith. Unless someone is willing to abandon sin, true inner spiritual peace will not come. All the therapies which leave out moral and spiritual conversion will fail on the deeper levels of healing for the human person who needs peace.

The sicknesses of the spirit cause many sicknesses in the mind and body as well. The way to spiritual health is to live by God’s truth. “In you Lord, I have found my peace.” Otherwise one is only dealing with symptoms and not root causes. Many refuse the spiritual remedies for peace and remain unhealed. Sin and weaknesses of the moral order need the medicines of prayer, the sacraments of healing, acceptance of God’s forgiveness, and living by the Law of God.

Many don’t seem to be aware that their state of sicknesses and lack of spiritual peace is related to their moral and spiritual life. Even if one denies sin, they still suffer the effects. Many who have abortions may not be guilty of personal sin, but they will still suffer moral and spiritual consequences. If one falls off a building, they come under the laws of gravity even if they deny the law or are not aware of such a law. The same is true for the spiritual laws of human nature. One can suffer from immoral practices, even if they don’t know they are sins. One can suffer from bad eating habits without knowing they have harmful eating habits.

Jesus speaks of the spiritual sickness of the Pharisees. Their inner life didn’t correspond to their outer life. “Their words are bold but their deeds are few.” They wanted to look good without being good.

The prophet Malachi spoke of the spiritual law of worship of God and the consequences. “If you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name…your blessing I will make a curse.”

A first step towards spiritual peace and the way to maintain and grow in spiritual and moral peace is to take seriously “the word of God at work within you who believe”.

The way to moral and spiritual peace is simple, but not easy! Seek peace!

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