The real meaning of peace
There once lived a king who announced an award for the artist who could paint the best painting depicting peace. Many great painters sent the king several of their best art pieces. One of the pictures among the various masterpieces was of a calm lake perfectly mirroring peaceful and towering snow-capped mountains. Overhead was the clear blue sky with fluffy clouds. The picture was perfect. Most of the people who viewed the pictures of peace from other artists thought that it was the best among all.
But when the king announced the winner, everyone was shocked. The picture which won the prize had a mountain which was rugged and bare. The sky looked angry, and there was lightning. It did not look peaceful at all. It looked like the artist had mistakenly submitted his painting depicting a storm rather than peace. But if one looked closely at the painting, one could see a tiny bush growing in the cracks in the rock. In the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. In the midst of angry weather, the bird sat on her nest with peace.
Peace does not mean being in a place where there is no noise or trouble. Peace means to be in the midst of all the chaos and still be calm in the heart. Real peace is a state of mind, not the state of the surroundings. The calm demeanour of the mother bird, despite her chaotic surrounding, indeed was the best representation for peace.
This, I know
• If it comes, let it come. If it goes, it's OK, let it go. Let things come and go. Stay calm, don't let anything disturb your peace, and carry on.
• Let your life reflect the faith you have in God. Fear nothing, and pray about everything. Be strong, trust God's word, and trust the process.
• To say nothing is saying something. You must denounce things you are against or one might believe that you support things you really do not.
• Gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions. Once expressed, it changes attitude, brightens outlook, and broadens our perspective.
• When you start loving yourself and respecting your time and energy, things will change. Get to know your worth, and your value will go up.
• When the vision is clear, the results will appear. Keep your mindset positive as you work your plan, flourish, and always remember why you started.
The Small beatitudes
Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves; they will have no end of fun.
Blessed are those who can tell a mountain from a molehill; they will be saved a lot of bother.
Blessed are those who know how to relax without looking for excuses; they are on their way to becoming wise.
Blessed are those who know when to be quiet and listen; they will learn a lot of new things.
Blessed are those who are sane enough not to take themselves too seriously; they will be valued most by those about them.
Happy are you if you can take small things seriously and face serious things calmly; you will go far in life.
Happy are you if you can appreciate a smile and forget a frown; you will walk on the sunny side of the street.
Happy are you if you can be kind in understanding the attitudes of others even when the signs are unfavourable; you may be taken for a fool, but this is the price of charity.
Blessed are those who think before acting and pray before thinking; they will avoid many blunders.
Happy are you if you know how to hold your tongue and smile, even when people interrupt and contradict you or tread on your toes; the Gospel has begun to seep into your heart.
Above all, blessed are you who recognise the Lord in all whom you meet; the light of truth shines in your life for you have found true wisdom.
Do you really want a cure?
To a distressed person who came to him for help, the Master said,
“Do you really want a cure?”
“If I did not, would I bother to come to you?” said the person.
“Oh yes, most people do.” the Master replied.
“Not for a cure; that’s painful. They come for relief.”
To his disciples, the Master said, “People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favour progress, provided they can have it without change.”
—Anthony de Mello, SJ
Just for laughs
God creates man and woman
God and Adam were walking through the Garden of Eden, discussing various things. At one point, Adam says, “Wow, God, you sure made Eve awfully beautiful, just amazingly beautiful!” Said the Lord, “Yes, my son, so that you would love her very, very deeply." After a brief moment, Adam hesitatingly commented, “But Lord, you made Eve not too smart.” “Ah, yes,” said God, “So she would love you very, very deeply.”
What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.
—Hans Urs von Balthasar
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