Thoughts on Peace

Quotes from: New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton

”If men really wanted peace they would sincerely ask God for it and He would give it to them.

But why should He give the world a peace which it does not really desire? The peace the world pretends to desire is really no peace at all.

To some men peace merely means the liberty to exploit other people without fear of retaliation or interference. To others peace means the freedom to rob others without interruption. To still others it means the leisure to devour goods of the earth without being compelled to interrupt their pleasures to feed those whom their greed is starving.

And to practically everybody peace simply means the absence of any physical violence that might cast a shadow over lives devoted to the satisfaction of animal appetites for comfort and pleasure.

Many men like these have asked God for what they thought was ‘peace’ and wondered why their prayer was not answered. They could not understand that it actually was answered. God left them with what they desired, for their idea of peace was only another form of war.

So instead of loving what you think is peace, love other men and love God above all. […] If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed— but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” (121,122)

We find peace in rejecting sin.

“Sin as such is essentially boring because it is the lack of something that could appeal to our wills and minds.” It is a distortion.

“Sinners are people who hate everything, because their world is necessarily full of betrayal, full of illusion, full of deception. And the greatest sinners are the most boring people in the world because they are also the most bored and the ones who find life most tedious.

When they try to cover the tedium of life by noise, excitement and violence— the inevitable fruits of life devoted to the love of values that do not exist— they become something more than boring: they are scourages of the world and society.” (125)

Let’s not read this and think of another, but instead, let us read this and pray in humility, that God may keep us. That we may choose to be holy and accept the love of God in us so that we may not choose to be boring, unsatisfied sinners who contribute nothing but darkness. Let us seek true peace, which is reconciliation with God.

May you find light, and be a light, today.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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