Galatians 5:22: “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Philippians 4:6–7: “The Lord is near. Have no anxiety, but in everything make your requests known to God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving. Then, the peace of the Lord which surpasses all understanding will keep guard over your hearts and souls in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 14:17: “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but justice, peace, and joy inspired by the Holy Spirit.”
(Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
- State of tranquility or quiet as (a) freedom from civil disturbance, (b) state of security or order within a community provided for by custom or law
- Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
- Harmony in personal relations
- State or period of mutual accord between governments; pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity.
Purity: state of being pure
- Unmixed with any other matter; free from dirt, dust, or any other matter; spotless, stainless
- Free from harshness or roughness and being in tune (used of a musical tone)
- Sheer, unmitigated
As I write this, I am experiencing the peace that comes from being with the sunrise over the water. The order of Nature, the harmony of the elements, and the sense of accord or oneness bring a peaceful feeling. For a few moments, I know the peace of God in my cellular consciousness and my mind. I feel the quiet tranquility of the pure essence of Divine Being. These moments provide a respite from the dis-harmony I often experience as I move through my day.
The dis-harmony of our inner world takes a lot of space, energy, and attention. When we are at war with ourselves, we are off center. We get volleyed between different points of view, conflicting feelings, and opposing desires. We experience harshness towards our selves. We are in a state of turmoil, not peace.
The Advent candle for peace and purity invites us to work for inner peace. We do this by consciously engaging with the state of dis-harmony. We can use the arms of love: acknowledgment, validation, acceptance, recognition, and gratitude.
We begin by acknowledging the conflicting aspects of our selves (feelings, thoughts, perceptions, sensations, and desires). We accept the validity of each side as we listen for the seed of God Within that it holds. We accept the state of consciousness as we dialogue with the inner state or “voice.” We recognize the value of the energy by channeling it into life-giving action. We offer gratitude for the sense of inner unity and peace that comes from consciously engaging all parts of our selves.
Inner peace is tied to living from the purity of heart and soul. In the process of socialization, our heart’s desires can get polluted with learned “shoulds, musts, and ought tos.” The clarity of mind offered by our heart and soul gets cloaked with adaptive behaviors. Our inner conflicts and harshness often come from the clash of the soul’s desires with the adaptive self. As we engage with whatever arises in love, we can discern the purity of soul.
We have to ask ourselves: What is the source of our prompts or desires? Is it an adaptive response? Is it heart’s longing? Is it ego acting as if it’s separate from God Within? Is it ego acting in sync with God Within? We can invite all of them to the peace table in our heart. There each bit of self gets to speak and make its case. Each bit then has to listen to the other bits of self. In the process, we can open to hear what God Within offers as the uniting way that leads to peace.
What are your current anxieties and inner conflicts? Extend the arms of love to each of them. Offer acknowledgment, validation, recognition, acceptance, and gratitude. You may do this by engaging in an active imagination where you dialogue with the anxiety or conflict. Get into a meditative state of mind and invite the energy to talk with you. Ask God Within to help you hear the voice of your heart and soul.