There are many ways to say peace

Shalom! Pax! Eirene! Salaam! Sliem! Shlomo! Paz! La Paiz! Fridden! Der Frieden! Achukma! Heiwa! La Pace! Amaithi!, Amini! Amniat! Ashtee! Asomdwee! Hoa Binh! Maluhia! Melino!

These are just a few of the many ways of saying ‘Peace.’ Virtually every language on earth has a word for peace; typically thought of as the absence of conflict. But when Jesus said to his disciples “Shalom Aleichem!” he wasn’t speaking of the absence of violence but rather a condition of the heart, inviting Him to come into our lives.

Four months ago, as I looked to the future, I realized that there was a very real possibility that my life might be rapidly coming to an end. I was totally unprepared and unwilling to accept death as a possibility. I had nightmares almost every night, vividly, with frightening detail, imagining my imminent demise, visualizing lying on a gurney moving down a long hallway with my family beside me, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that as soon as I closed my eyes I would never see them again. Night after night I had these nightmares and each time I would be startled from my restless sleep with this unimaginable fear and panic overwhelming me.

On a Tuesday morning, two weeks before my surgery, I remember presiding at a communion service; my mind and heart were somewhere far away, certainly not on the service itself. As the readings were being proclaimed my mind was roiling with all of the desperate thoughts that I had been dreaming of for several weeks. As the reader introduced the responsorial psalm I was transfixed, transformed, and suddenly at “peace.” The response was “In God I trust, I do not fear” [Psalm 56:12].

And I did, and I do…completely, without reservation. God knows and that is all that I need to know. If I trust in God — and I do — then all my turmoil, my doubts, my fears are simply conflicts of my own choosing and wasted energy.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” [Jn 14:27]. And those are truly golden words to live by. My dear friends, may the peace of Christ be in your hearts and on your lips. “Shalom Aleichem.”

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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