Friday, May 11, 2007

Fr. Cantalamessa on Peace

Here is an excerpt from a recent homily by Father Cantalamessa on peace:

This tells us that the peace of heart that we all desire can never be totally and stably possessed without God, outside of him. In the "Divine Comedy" Dante Alighieri synthesized all of this in that verse that many consider the most beautiful in this work: "In his will is our peace."Jesus makes us understand what is opposed to this peace -- worry, anxiety, fear: "Do not let your hearts be troubled." Easy to say -- someone might object.

How do we placate anxiety and disquiet, the worry that devours us all and keeps us from enjoying peace? Some people are by temperament more disposed than others to these things. If there is some danger, they blow it out of proportion, if there is some difficulty, they increase it by 100%. Everything becomes a reason for anxiety.The Gospel does not promise a remedy for all these problems; to a certain extent they are part of our human condition, exposed as we are to forces and dangers much bigger than ourselves. But the Gospel does indicate some remedy. The chapter from which Sunday's Gospel passage is taken begins: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and have faith in me too" (John 14:1). Trusting in God is the remedy.

After World War II, a book was published by the title "Last Letters from Stalingrad." They were letters by German soldiers who were awaiting the final Russian assault on Stalingrad, in which all were killed. The letters went with the last plane that was able to make it out of the city. In one of the letters, found after the end of the war, a young soldier wrote to his parents: "I am not afraid of death. My faith gives me this beautiful certainty." Share

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