Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, April 8, 2016
PEACE: Experiencing God’s Presence
This is the last day (for a while) I’m going to be visiting St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights. As I’ve mentioned before, I am grateful I had the opportunity to engage with anyone who came up to the table I had set up on one side of the large lunchroom.
I set up a small sign on one side of the lunch room, and stood by the table. Waiting. I didn’t have to wait long. I had young people come up to the table pretty consistently, all the time I was there. I made up two small hand-held signs, as well. One read “Personal definition of PEACE” and the other “What is PEACE to you?”
Not a great big number of people came up to my table. However quite a number sat still (even stopped eating and talking) when they read my signs, from a distance. I was glad I could have a thoughtful, positive effect, causing them to think. And, maybe talk about PEACE.
Today I have the opportunity to present Fr. Corey’s personal definition of PEACE. Fr. Corey Brost is the principal of St. Viator’s, and a wonderful person. I asked him, initially, if there were a group of young people at the high school who I could ask about their views on PEACE. He was kind enough to invite me to all three lunch periods.
Fr. Corey’s personal definition: “PEACE is experiencing God’s presence in the midst of personal and societal upheaval.”
He did not have much time at all to talk after writing out the definition, but he reminded me, “Peace is in the midst. Never replacing God’s presence.”
It’s true that a lot of things can try to rob us of peace. Or, replace peace with something else, something far inferior. Thank you, Fr. Corey, for reminding all of us that God offers us the peace that passes understanding. Peace that will guard our hearts and minds, no matter what. In the midst of the storm as well as on sunny days. God is always present, by my side, even when I can’t see or feel. (Thanks, God!)
(Tomorrow, I am excited to begin a series of personal definitions of PEACE from people who attend the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove! Stay tuned.)
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