When the Lord comes to a person, He brings her His peace: Peace to all! Peace to you! When the Lord enters that person’s heart, he pacifies hit. The heart starts to be thankful to God and inspired with the love that gives her the opportunity to build the Kingdom of God around herself, to spread the peace of Christ around. The peace of God is a reward given to us.
The sinful world, no matter how tempting it might be, no matter how attractive it might be for the natural man, is death. The world without God is a fruitless desert where there can be only torment and suffering and by no means joy or the light of love. The God’s world is the Kingdom, and this Kingdom is in our hearts when God dwells in us, when we are looking for God’s truth and reject human justice. It is through repentance, through renunciation of our egos, through humility that we let God into our hearts. This is when we start to belong to Christ, and this is when Christ begins to change our lives so that things we considered the norm, things we got used to, are no longer acceptable. Thus an individual is transformed.
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The peace of God allows one to see her life not as a meaningless and aimless chaos but as an earthly path that leads into the Kingdom of Love. Peace is the gift that the Lord brings to the earth. Once people hid from God in the paradise, they lost peace. They started to look for joys and pleasures of their own; they began to build their own world where there was no place for God. A poor cave was the only place left for the Divine Child. All other places were occupied: hotels were packed and palaces were shut for the Saviour. This is why the Lord knocks at the heart of every person. He says, “I will give you My peace; I will give you My love.” However, the person replies, “Give me health, give me success, give me wealth, give me happiness on earth.” If the person does not receive these worldly pleasures, she rejects God. She says, “God doesn’t help me. I came to God, I wanted Him to give me joy but I have to suffer even more. I came to God because I wanted Him to heal me from my illnesses but my illnesses are more severe than ever.” This is why not every soul will dare ask God to enter her heart; not every soul will remain in the church when trials begin.
How people hurry to get holy water on Epiphany! How they hurry to have their Easter cakes and foods consecrated!
On the other hand, how hard it is for a person to repent, how hard it is for her to come and humble down and leave behind her ego, her sins, and to leave behind that part of her life that lacks God’s truth! Needless is to say that the peace of God is the lot of courageous souls, it is for the souls that struggle with the sin inside themselves. “I torment my tormentor!” Sin lives inside me. It will never come to terms with God’s presence inside us. So we have to choose. Something’s got to die. Either my ego, my self-love, my sin will die, or I will be left without God forever. The peace of God is the Kingdom of Love where God invites all of us to come. But how can a person who got accustomed to sinning reject the sin and give all her life into God’s hands? Therefore, certainly, I would like to say that the peace of God is a gift of God to the person who got lost, who suffers, who is miserable and makes everyone around miserable, too. One should accept this gift and not be doubtful or lose heart. We know that this peace of God makes people not only happy while praying and relieved thanks to God’s love but also leads them to the Golgotha and the Garden of Gethsemane, where they will have to endure contempt, mockery, and resentment. Nevertheless, the person will put up with it if she has experienced the joy of encounter with God inside her heart, if she has really found God and His peace, because there is nothing better or greater than that either in this life or in the age to come.
Archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok