During one of my Lectio Divina sessions on Philippians 2:5, I thought of what it means to say,  “May the peace of Christ be with you.” We say this greeting at each Eucharist after saying the Our Father together as community of faith. What does it mean? Is it like saying, “The Force be with you,” as they do in Star Wars movies? What follows is my recollection on what came to me about the peace of Christ and why it is not to be taken for granted when we say it to each other.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT PEACE (in no order of importance).

  • Peace is what existed in the Garden of Eden before the Fall from grace of Adam and Eve.
  • Peace is difference in two universes (physical and metal) than in three universes (physical, mental, and spiritual).
  • Spiritual peace is a gift from God to come into your heart to make it act its nature.
  • Spiritual peace produces energy in our hearts and is dynamic and sustaining
  • Humans don’t produce spiritual peace in their hearts. It comes from your heart resting next to the heart of Christ and being transformed with God’s own energy.
  • Human peace is the absence of war or strife, where both people try not live amicably with each other and help each other achieve their purpose in life.
  • Human peace is not what Christ gives us. John  14:27 says, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.  And again in John 20:19, Jesus said:  When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 
  • Peace is the real presence of Christ standing before you. Peace is the life of Christ which you are asked to share with one another.
  • You share the peace of Christ not your own peace. You share the transformed Christ in you with those around you. You share the gift of peace you received from Christ with those around you.
  • It doesn’t matter if these people around you are believers, agnostics. You are not to judge others, but bid to share the peace of Christ with them.
  • Peace of Christ is the one gift at Eucharist that you don’t receive from God or return to God. You return it to each other.
  • There are three gifts we receive in Eucharist: The Word, Peace from Christ which we immediately share with those around us. The Real Presence of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.
  • Peace of Christ does something to your behavior. It helps you to live the commands of Christ to love one another as He has loved us.
  • The peace of Christ in our hearts helps us implement the tools for good works, stated in Chapter 4 of St. Benedict’s Rule.
  • The peace of Christ spans the world and the Kingdom of Heaven to help sustain us as we seek God.
  • Humans can channel the peace of God himself through our hearts to those around us.
  • The Peace of Christ calms the spirit and the heart as well as the mind.
  • You can’t have the Peace of Christ in you and anger, hatred, jealousy, lust, detraction, calumny, or want to be God, as Adam and Eve did. That is why we ask Christ to have mercy on us at each Eucharist.
  • For me as a broken-down. old Lay Cistercian, peace of Christ is produced in my heart at Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, especially at Lectio Divina, Rosary on the Life of Christ, sacred Scripture readings, and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Making Christ present is at the core of my approach to The Cistercian Way. Peace is not for the weak. It demands action as do other tools of Good works (St. Benedict Chapter 4).

Think about what is happening next time you give others peace and remember it is not your peace you give but the Peace of Christ.

Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen.  —Cistercian doxology.

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