I am struggling to be a person of peace when I wake up to so much pain and conflict swirling around us. The news of yet another mass shooting, the shooting of a two year old just blocks from the soup kitchen, the persistence of gun violence all around us has brought on tears of rage and frustration. How can I be peaceful? Do I have to disengage from the news and from life around us to find that peace? How is that helpful? If we all do that, who stands up, shows up, speaks up for those who need help?
Peace doesn't exist because we live in a bucolic field of flowers. Peace exists within us because we are connected to God. Despite what goes on around us, we are able, if we are connected to God, to be at peace at all times. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t pay attention to what’s going on in the world, but rather when we do, we approach it from a perspective of peace.
Peace comes from within us and is not dependent upon external factors. When we are truly connected to God, we don’t experience “tears of rage and frustration.” In fact, it is rage and frustration which begets the very violence you refer to. In addition, we can certainly be advocates and activists without losing our peace. Consider Jesus, but also people like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. These are people who were at peace within themselves and were able to do great good without giving in to the frustration and difficulties of the world.