A world at prayer is a world at peace. -Venerable Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. (1909-1992)
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430) defined peace as the “tranquility of order.” So what does he mean? The biblical understanding of peace, shalom, is the calling forth of all good blessings: life, liberty, happiness, joy, prosperity. To wish a person peace (shalom) is to wish great blessings upon that person. Every Sunday when we say, “Peace be with you,” to a neighbor at Mass we are wishing the blessings of peace in Christ upon that neighbor.
When Saint Augustine speaks of peace as the “tranquility of order” he is reminding us that the Creator, Who fashioned all things from nothing, created human beings in His own image and likeness. When the human person is at peace, it is because she/he has negotiated the right order in life. God the Creator is worshipped, loved, and praised as the source of all creation. The human person who is at peace has the Living God at the center of life and worship. She/he also loves the Creator and all those creatures made in His image and likeness because they are Imago Dei, living reflections of the Creator God.
Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians tells us that “Christ is our peace.” The Risen Lord Jesus has united us to God and each other through the blood of His Cross. In this way Christ has re-established the right order of things in creation, lost long ago through the sin of Adam. Without Christ and his Cross, we cannot know peace because we are far from the right order of things. So, in a profound way, Christ is our peace.
Venerable Patrick Peyton emblazoned on the hearts and minds of millions around the world, his popular phrase, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together.” A second, less well-known theme was, “A World at Prayer is a World at Peace.” He wished to convey the message that prayer puts one in touch with the most powerful force anywhere in heaven or on earth. To pray is to be in touch with the Living God, Creator of all. If a whole world can be brought to its knees before the Living God, then perfect order ensues and peace follows.
Each weekday, the homily from Daily Mass at Holy Cross Family Ministries is shared online. Visit Family Rosary: World at Prayer and sign up to receive notifications of each day’s homily.
Copyright 2018 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.