BIBLICAL POINT OF REFERENCE:
"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope."
I’ve never been good at calming myself down. I’m a doer. A stressor. An extrovert. I love being busy and I fuel that busyness with stress, some good, some bad. I focus on getting that list of tasks done as fast as I can. And peace is supposed to be the end goal...if I ever cross everything off that list. Which I never do—new things get added every day.
There’s one saint that always comes to mind when I think of peace: St. Francis of Assisi. Have you ever noticed how at peace he is with his decision to serve God all his life? His first line of prayer is, “Make me an instrument of your peace.” How do we even begin to think like that?
As you can see, peace doesn’t come naturally. It takes dedication, resilience, and hard work to keep in tune with your daily activities.
I work more than I probably should. As a high schooler, a college student, and even as a person, my goal was to accomplish my goals, and those goals were always lofty. Not impossible, but lofty.
So I worked harder.
And in working harder, I found that I had to work even harder the next time I accomplished one of my goals to be just as happy as when I completed the next goal. There is no balance in that kind of reward system, and St. Joseph the Worker shows us a better way: Provide for yourself and your loved ones, but do it honestly and humbly. It is this kind of work ethic that leads to a pure heart and soul. Focus on the “why” of your goal and not the “what” or the “how.” God will work those issues out in His own time.
In a world that is too busy for peace and too focused on money to take a break, purity is often the last thing on our minds. And I don’t just mean purity of the body, but purity of the heart, the mind, and the soul. Purity that knows no selfishness or stress, purity that can be found through both peace and work should they be balanced. Purity that comes from Jesus Christ, the most pure of all humans.
At a young age, St. Agnes refused a proposal of marriage and was martyred for her belief of purity in God and faith in His mighty works.
Every day, I wonder to myself if I could ever be like her. I wonder if I could ever be strong enough to carry my crosses with a pure heart and a worthy spirit. I wonder if she believed that I, too, could have the bravery to stand up for who I am and what I want. I wonder if I could be so courageous to say His name loud enough for the whole world to hear. We start that journey when we come to believe that only God saves. And He does a magnificent job at saving us.
We often don’t hear the words Peace, Work, and Purity together. They don’t seem to belong, and yet, it is in using them together that makes them so powerful. How can we work towards a discipline so perfect?
Sts. Francis, Joseph, and Agnes are all pointing towards the One who can give us all three.
Your Laughing Sister,