[COLUMN] On finding peace in this troubled world

YOU’VE often heard me say that we’re living in the most challenging time in this generation. I say it because we keep facing a world of conflicts, division, war,  corruption, extremism, and disinformation.

Our minds and hearts are troubled as we learn more about mass shootings, racial hatred radicalized on the internet, misinformation and lies in politics and government, evil revisions of historical facts, and moral wars on life and gender issues.

We’re afraid about the economy, the future and safety of our children, the harmful effects and influence of social media on our minds and society, and another COVID-19 virus variant. All these concerns have affected our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

How do we stay healthy, how do we keep the peace, and how can we be brave? Who and what should we believe? How can we raise and educate our children wisely? We long for peace, guidance, wisdom, and truth.

Anne Osdieck’s prayers in Center for Liturgy express these deep desires:

“Come, O Holy Spirit, lead us to your home, the one within us. Discern for each of us, as you did for each of the apostles, untold truths. Be the fire that never dies, the wind that lifts us—raising us high, on wings that set us free.

O Holy Spirit, teacher of all good, remind us of what Jesus said and did, and who he is. Let our hearts be untroubled and fearless as we take your compassion everywhere it’s needed in our world today.

O Christ, you are the temple. God’s glory lights your altar. Make us merely candles, please; let us glow in this world, right here, right now in the dimness of our day.”

Often, it is when we enter deeply into this kind of prayer when we ask God to grant us his Spirit that we can find peace, wisdom, hope, and wisdom. As Jesus told us in this Sunday’s Gospel (John 14:23-29), “Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”

The world will not give us all the solutions to our troubles. But a mind and heart tuned to God’s Spirit and the Way of Christ would grant us peace, guidance, and courage.

Let us not despair but live in hope and love of the Father and the Son and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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