Peace comes from our virtue, mastery over our desires, the gift of spiritual consolations, and confidence in God’s loving protection

November 14, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 202

He who enjoys this favor cannot but turn to the Author of so many marvels and cry out with the prophet: “Come and behold ye the works of the Lord, what wonders He hath done upon earth, making wars to cease even to the ends of the earth. He shall destroy the bow, and break the weapons; and the shields He shall burn in the fire.” [Ps. xlv. 9, 10.]

What, then, is more beautiful, more worthy of our ambition, than this peace of soul, this calm of conscience, which is the work of grace and the privilege of virtue?

As one of the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost, peace is the effect of virtue and its inseparable companion. It is one of those blessings which give us on earth many of the joys of Heaven.

For the Apostle tells us: “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but justice, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” [Rom. xiv. 17.]

According to the Hebrew version, justice here means the perfection of virtue, which, together with its beautiful fruits, peace and joy, gives the just a foretaste of eternal happiness.

If you would have still farther proof that this peace flows from virtue, hear the words of the prophet: “The work of justice shall be peace, and the service of justice quietness and security for ever.” [Isaias xxxii. 17.]

A second cause of this peace is the liberty which the just enjoy. This liberty is gained by the triumph of the nobler part of the soul over the inferior appetites, which, after they have been subjugated, are easily prevented from causing any disturbance.

The great spiritual consolations which we considered in a preceding chapter form another source of this peace. They soothe the affections and appetites of the flesh by making them content to share in the joys of the spirit, which they afterwards begin to relish as the sovereign sweetness of God becomes better known.

Seeking, therefore, no other delights, they are never disappointed, and consequently never feel the attacks of anger. The happy result of all this is the reign of peace in the soul.

Finally, this great privilege proceeds from the just man’s confidence in God, which is his comfort in all trials and his anchor in all storms.

He knows that God is his Father, his Defender, his Shield. Hence, he can say with the prophet: “In peace in the self-same I will sleep and I will rest; for Thou, O Lord! hast singularly settled me in hope.” [Ps. iv. 9, 10.]

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