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Feb 8, 2019

Obtaining Peace of Mind

Jeff Cavins

Peace of mind is something we all struggle towards, but rarely achieve. Jeff talks about why we are unable to obtain peace and gives you five practical ways to reach this elusive state of mind.

Snippet from the Show:

If we are going to get peace of mind in our lives, the first thing we need to do is make sure that we are not walking in sin.


SHOWNOTES

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Gaudium et Spes, section 4 – To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. Some of the main features of the modern world can be sketched as follows.

Today, the human race is involved in a new stage of history. Profound and rapid changes are spreading by degrees around the whole world. Triggered by the intelligence and creative energies of man, these changes recoil upon him, upon his decisions and desires, both individual and collective, and upon his manner of thinking and acting with respect to things and to people. Hence we can already speak of a true cultural and social transformation, one which has repercussions on man’s religious life as well.

As happens in any crisis of growth, this transformation has brought serious difficulties in its wake. Thus while man extends his power in every direction, he does not always succeed in subjecting it to his own welfare. Striving to probe more profoundly into the deeper recesses of his own mind, he frequently appears more unsure of himself. Gradually and more precisely he lays bare the laws of society, only to be paralyzed by uncertainty about the direction to give it.

Never has the human race enjoyed such an abundance of wealth, resources and economic power, and yet a huge proportion of the worlds citizens are still tormented by hunger and poverty, while countless numbers suffer from total illiteracy. Never before has man had so keen an understanding of freedom, yet at the same time new forms of social and psychological slavery make their appearance. Although the world of today has a very vivid awareness of its unity and of how one man depends on another in needful solidarity, it is most grievously torn into opposing camps by conflicting forces. For political, social, economic, racial and ideological disputes still continue bitterly, and with them the peril of a war which would reduce everything to ashes. True, there is a growing exchange of ideas, but the very words by which key concepts are expressed take on quite different meanings in diverse ideological systems. Finally, man painstakingly searches for a better world, without a corresponding spiritual advancement.

Influenced by such a variety of complexities, many of our contemporaries are kept from accurately identifying permanent values and adjusting them properly to fresh discoveries. As a result, buffeted between hope and anxiety and pressing one another with questions about the present course of events, they are burdened down with uneasiness. This same course of events leads men to look for answers; indeed, it forces them to do so.

Gaudium et Spes, section 8 – This development coming so rapidly and often in a disorderly fashion, combined with keener awareness itself of the inequalities in the world beget or intensify contradictions and imbalances.

Within the individual person there develops rather frequently an imbalance between an intellect which is modern in practical matters and a theoretical system of thought which can neither master the sum total of its ideas, nor arrange them adequately into a synthesis. Likewise an imbalance arises between a concern for practicality and efficiency, and the demands of moral conscience; also very often between the conditions of collective existence and the requisites of personal thought, and even of contemplation. At length there develops an imbalance between specialized human activity and a comprehensive view of reality.

As for the family, discord results from population, economic and social pressures, or from difficulties which arise between succeeding generations, or from new social relationships between men and women.

Differences crop up too between races and between various kinds of social orders; between wealthy nations and those which are less influential or are needy; finally, between international institutions born of the popular desire for peace, and the ambition to propagate one’s own ideology, as well as collective greeds existing in nations or other groups.

What results is mutual distrust, enmities, conflicts and hardships. Of such is man at once the cause and the victim.

Proverbs 3:17 – Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life.

Reconciliation and Penance, section 15 – In the biblical narratives mentioned above, man’s rupture with God leads tragically to divisions between brothers.

In the description of the “first sin,” the rupture with Yahweh simultaneously breaks the bond of friendship that had united the human family. Thus the subsequent pages of Genesis show us the man and the woman as it were pointing an accusing finger at each other. Later we have the brother hating his brother and finally taking his life.

According to the Babel story, the result of sin is the shattering of the human family, already begun with the first sin and now reaching its most extreme form on the social level.

No one wishing to investigate the mystery of sin can ignore this link between cause and effect. As a rupture with God, sin is an act of disobedience by a creature who rejects, at least implicitly, the very one from whom he came and who sustains him in life. It is therefore a suicidal act. Since by sinning man refuses to submit to God, his internal balance is also destroyed and it is precisely within himself that contradictions and conflicts arise. Wounded in this way, man almost inevitably causes damage to the fabric of his relationship with others and with the created world. This is an objective law and an objective reality, verified in so many ways in the human psyche and in the spiritual life as well as in society, where it is easy to see the signs and effects of internal disorder.

The mystery of sin is composed of this twofold wound which the sinner opens in himself and in his relationship with his neighbor. Therefore one can speak of personal and social sin: From one point of view, every sin is personal; from another point of view, every sin is social insofar as and because it also has social repercussions.


5 Ways to Obtain Peace of Mind:

1. Obedience to the Word of God

  • Pslam 119:165 – Great peace have those who love thy law; nothing can make them stumble.
  • 2 Samuel 15 – After this Ab′salom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Ab′salom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate; and when any man had a suit to come before the king for judgment, Ab′salom would call to him, and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Ab′salom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right; but there is no man deputed by the king to hear you.” Ab′salom said moreover, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a suit or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” And whenever a man came near to do obeisance to him, he would put out his hand, and take hold of him, and kiss him. Thus Ab′salom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Ab′salom stole the hearts of the men of Israel…

2. Peace through controlled Anger

  • Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes a man slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
  • Proverbs 29:11 – A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

3. Peace by destroying envy

  • Wisdom 2:24 – but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.
  • Proverbs 14:30 – A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot.

4. Peace through Hope

  • Sirach 2:6 – Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.
  • Sirach 2:9 – you who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for everlasting joy and mercy.
  • Hebrews 6:19 – We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain
  • Proverbs 10:28 – The hope of the righteous ends in gladness, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nought.

5. Peace through Forgiveness

  • Proverbs 16:7 – When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
  • Matthew 18:21-22 – Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

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