Blessed Are the Peacemakers
Presence of God – O Holy Spirit, help me to establish my heart in peace.
A soul who has tasted God, under the influence of the gift of wisdom, looks at the world with the eyes of God, and therefore is able to judge all things “secundum rationes divinae” (St. Thomas IIa IIae, q.45, a.3, ad 3) by divine principles, according to supernatural motives, and not according to limited human reasoning. These are the truly “wise” judgments that we can never formulate without the help of the Holy Spirit. In fact, “the sensual man [the man of the senses and of natural reason] perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined. But the spiritual man [the man of faith guided by the Holy Spirit] judgeth all things” (1 Corinthians 2:14,15). He judges all things in relation to their supreme Cause, God; therefore, he directs all his acts and orders everything in his life according to God. From this order – the only true order – comes peace, the fruit of the wise direction of the gift of wisdom; hence, the man who habitually lives under the influence of this gift is a peaceful man par excellence. His heart is established in peace, there is no longer anything disordered in it; all his affections and desires, all his thoughts and acts, are completely ordered according to God, being wholly submitted and conformed to His laws, to His will, to His good pleasure. One who possesses peace, disseminates peace. A peacemaker, in the etymological sense, is one who makes peace, cultivates peace, and spreads it about him. This is why the gift of wisdom corresponds to the beatitude of peace, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Only one who lives under the influence of this gift can truly judge and regulate everything according to God, so that nothing, not even suffering, can disturb his interior peace, for he knows that even the most painful happenings are permitted and ordered by God for the good of His elect. “To them that love God, all things work together unto good” (Romans 8:28).
In this way the gift of wisdom gives a note of sweetness, not only to our prayer, but also to our practical life:
“Under the influence of this gift,” says St. Thomas, “what is bitter becomes sweet, and weariness becomes repose” (IIa IIae, q.45, a.3, ad 3).
“O Holy Spirit, give us Your wisdom to teach and guide us and to bring all things back to You, from whom they came. Oh! if we could really return to You as we came out from You, like waves returning to the ocean whence they came! Oh! if we could only make this complete return to You, we should be in perpetual happiness and perpetual peace!
“Your wisdom is the perfection which orders all things in relation to You who are their end. It considers the past, looks at the present and scans the future always in relation to You. From this orientation, peace, the sweet fruit of wisdom, is born in our hearts. He who possesses this peace is always serene: he is not troubled by the past or the present, and he looks peacefully toward the future, because he knows that everything is permitted and arranged by Your sovereign goodness.
“O eternal Father, give us light to know this peace, the cause of so many blessings, and without which we fall into so many faults and evils!
“Oh! why can I not communicate this peace to every creature? If I were what I should be, I certainly could diffuse it everywhere! O Lord, give me Your peace, the peace of a heart which lives united to You, for of myself I can have no good, and without You, I cannot have peace” (St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi).
“O most benign Jesus, give me above all desires the desire to rest in You, and in You let my heart find peace. You are the true peace of the heart; You are its only refuge; without You, all things are difficult and troubled. In this peace, then, that is, in You, the one sovereign eternal Good, I will sleep and take my rest” (Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, III, 15:4).
Note from Dan: This post on the blessedness of the peacemakers is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art: Detail of The Sermon of Jesus on the Mount, Franz Xaver Kirchebner, late 18th century, PD-worldwide, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.