Strength of Peace


                   "Stress and fear are the antithesis of joy and peace"

Reading  Fr. Mario Attard's beautiful article, The Inner Kingdom, two incidents came quickly to my mind:     An evening at University College Dublin several years ago, when I attended a lecture on the subject of Stress, Fear and Peace.  It was given by a professor of biochemistry and was most illuminating.  

  The lecturer - a Gregory Peck look-alike - went on to state clearly and succinctly for more than an hour, the various methods by which stress can be overcome.   His lecture was delivered with such panache and smooth exposition, that it brought the audience to its feet.   Rarely have I listened to a person so gifted in the use of language and kinetic art and it was no surprise when finished, he got a standing ovation.  

  Thanking him profusely, he was, however,  surprised  by the suggestion which I made to him:  why had he omitted to mention the name of Jesus Christ, the true source of all serenity and peace?   

  After a heated discussion with regard to this omission, he snapped:  " if you are so smart why don't you give the next lecture yourself!"   

   I suppose such a humilitating experience comes under the heading:  Becoming fools for Christ.  

  The second incident was the shock of an expression used by a priest who, also, was a great expositor, and this time on the subject of Peace.  

  He assured us that the devil, a grey being, was smarter than any person on this earth and being prince of the world , had everything in his hand except the priceless gift of peace.  

   He was fully aware of our Achilles Heels, our most tender and vulnerable spots and would relentlessly pursue us, until he had persuaded us to drop this gift and give in to worry and despair.  The priest told us that those of us who were fortunate enough to possess this amazing prize, and who insisted on hanging on to it, would go through life experiencing aristocracy of the soul but the moment we lost it, we could be described as being persons who were common and drab. Wow!  That surely shook us up! 

   I would like to take this opportunity to jot down a few points which relate to this matter and which may be of special interest to the beauty conscious.

  Firstly, let me explain that stress is caused by worry and fear and fear immobilises.  Stress and Fear are the antithesis of joy and peace.  Fear often manifests itself as greed, violence, anger, jealousy, aggression, and hatred.  Fear and Stress moreover, are twins, and are anathema to physical beauty.  They corrode, destroy and tear to pieces mind, body and spirit.  


 It is a firmly established medical fact, that ill health, premature ageing, lack of resistance to disease and total loss of beauty are concomitants of these emotions. 

  Conversely, happiness, vibrancy, prosperity and peace are the natural  attendants of righteousness.   "As righteousness tendeth to life, so he that pursueth evil, pursueth it to his own death.  In the way of righteousness is life and in the pathway thereof there is no death."  

  Jesus told us: " I came that you may have life and have it in abundance" and there is no room for fear or stress in that statement.  The choice is ours.  Why not begin


and start living vibrantly.  In the words of the Welsh poet, W.H. Davies:   

  "What is this life if, full of care  / We have no time to stand and stare."   


Abraham Lincoln was once approached by a friend who asked him :  "Why do you go on studying, now that you have earned enough to live very well?    Lincoln's prompt reply was :  "I am not studying to make a living but to put my living to the best possible use".

The story goes that he, Lincoln was visiting a friend in a hospital, when he heard a nurse telling her colleague, that the young soldier in another ward who was very close to death was crying for his father.    Immediately Lincoln asked to be directed to his bedside where the boy was almost unconscious. Taking his hand in his, Abraham Lincoln held it for three hours, until the young soldier eventually died in perfect peace thinking it was his own father who was with him all the time.  Such was the nobility of this great man.


Where do you think Jesus will reveal Himself ?   In the very circumstances where before we could see only suffering.


What do you want me to do for you Jesus?   If you humbly mean what you say He will answer you very soon.   If you are proud and don't really mean what you say,  'He will look at you from afar'.


 Anita Kilbride - Jones,


Saint Paul's Bay, Malta.

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