Peace On Earth

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Peace….. the angel announced. But peace is as much task as gift.
Only if we become calm as earth, fluid as water, and blazing as fire will we be able to rise to the task of peacemaking, and the air will stir with the rush of wings of angels arriving to help us. This is why I wish you that great inner stillness which alone allows us to speak, even today, without irony of “peace on earth” and, without despair, to work for it.

~Brother David Steindalrast

Come, O Jesus

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Their prince shall be one of their own,
their ruler shall come from their midst;
I will let him come freely into my presence
and he can come close to me;
who else indeed, would risk their life
by coming close to me?
It is Yahweh who speaks.
You shall be my people and
I will be your God.
~ Jeremiah 30:21-22

These words speak to me of intimacy.
This is what the incarnation brings –
this is the coming of Christ into our lives –
a blending of human and divine in intimate communion.
I have so much to learn of this intimacy.
I fear it . . .and in my hurriedness, in my muchness
and manyness I flee from this God who would know
my very being – who would dwell with me in such
closeness that we are ONE.
Then there can be no deception.
Then I must be who I must be. NO WALLS –
no veil – just standing before God in humility and awe.
This is who I am at the Burning Bush –
standing on such Holy Ground that the fire sears my soul.
I feel weak, numb, unworthy. . .such that my very sandals
must be removed as a sign of reverence.

Oh how I fear this intimacy, and yet, I realize our journey
is in fact moving step by step closer to intimacy with God.
Each step is an unravelling of deceptions – a removal
of the layers of untruth we have wrapped about ourselves.
It is very powerful to be willing to stand completely vulnerable
before the Lord, our God. We do not know the impact of
what we are saying when we invite God into our lives –
and yet we blithely pray: “Come, Lord Jesus”

And so, he comes today.

~ Anna Lin, Advent Journal 2002

Seek Peace and Pursue It

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In 2006 the peace of an Amish community in Pennsylvania was shattered when a gunman intruded a schoolhouse and shot ten young girls, killing 5 of them before turning the gun upon himself. I was overcome with compassion for their community of faithful people. And then, I was amazed as I watched how they dealt with such tragedy. In the midst of their overwhelming grief, they offered immediate forgiveness and reached out to comfort and care for the shooter’s family.

I listened closely when an interviewer asked one: “How are you able to have such a forgiving attitude?”
The answer was something like:
“It is because our lives are continually focused on the love of Jesus, and through that we develop 100% inner peace within us.”

100% inner peace. I wrote that down, because I knew at that moment I wanted that in my life. 100% inner peace no matter what difficulties come to me. That has become an overriding intention for my life.
I have found that it comes gradually, as I learn to trust the Divine Source no matter what the circumstances. We learn to grow in grace and peace.

This, my friends, is the gift of Christmas. The Prince of Peace is given to us so that we may know 100% inner peace. Not just for ourselves, but so that it naturally flows out bringing peace to all the world.

On this day, may you seek peace and pursue it with all your heart and soul.
And may the gift of 100% inner peace be born in you through Christ. Amen.

“Seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14)

~ Anna Lin
(Remembrances from Advent Journals past)

Advent Peace – Slow Me Down Lord

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Slow me down, O Prince of Peace.
Help me to be still . . . in the silence . . .
to wait patiently for your coming.
So often I push too hard, trying to make things happen.
Help me to remember that in God’s time, all will be well.
Even in the swirling of creation, God chose to “rest” . . .
to wait. In this quiet resting I am more aware of the gifts of
God’s grace and mercy, and I can truly be at peace.
Help me to fall into the quiet space where silence dwells . . .
to feel the breath of the spirit resting upon me.
In this circle of silence there is safety . . . there is peace. Amen

~ Anna Lin

Creating A Book Of Peace

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For this week that focuses on PEACE, you may want to create a little Book of PEACE.

If you gather together all the things that bring you PEACE and create a little book, you will have this to go back to remind you in times of stress and difficulty in your life.

During this week, take note of all that reminds you of PEACE ~
words, poems, prayers, stories, images, visions, sacred scriptures that excite and inspire you with a sense of calm and serenity.
You can jot these down on your computer or in a little note pad that you carry with you.

Because I have the unique ability of dyslexia, too many words are a challenge to me. I can find deep meaning in a simple image and in a few words that are significant to me. I think that in our active world today, it is helpful to keep things simple in our times of contemplation as well.

Find a few words that speak to you of peace.
Here are some possibilities:

calm   stillness   shalom   tranquility   quiet   rest   stillwood

harmony   serenity   soothing   gentle   balm   comfort   home

And choose one to three phrases that bring you a feeling of calm.
Here are some examples:

In God alone is my soul at rest

Quiet me in Holy Stillness

Sleep in heavenly peace

Divine peace and harmony surround me and dwell in me

Walk as if you have no place to go

Be gentle with yourself

What images help you to gently fall into the peace of the moment:

~ a falling leaf ~ a warm fire ~ candle light ~ snow gently falling

~ a cozy home

This week you will discover many other ways that will return your mind and heart into the path of peace.

Anna Lin