How to achieve peace in our lives?

I found peace, inspiration, love and grace .. on Monday. ( Don’t ask about Tuesday, however..)

I prayed at Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Now, don’t take this in a bad way but…I needed that Mass. To worship Jesus, to receive Him, without attendant, unnecessary noise or activity or distractions. Without clapping and jokes. Without a sloppily intoned Alelluia ( not during Lent, of course). Without shaking hands and chatting.

Just praying, silently, reverently, with others, with the priest, before Our Lord.

The sursum corda-the lifting up of our hearts-is the first requirement for real participation in the mass. Nothing could better obstruct the confrontation of man with God than the notion that we “go unto the altar of God” as we would go to a pleasant, relaxing social gathering. This is why the Latin mass with Gregorian chant, which raises us up to a sacred atmosphere, is vastly superior to a vernacular mass with popular songs, which leaves us in a profane, merely natural atmosphere. The Case for the Latin Mass Dietrich von Hildebrand

Yesterday, after a particularly exhausting and draining day, I had a phone call from an always supportive friend. Later that evening, after the weekly Mass and Novena to St Anthony in our parish, I went to another friend’s house, watching The Jane Austen Book Club with other homeschooling mothers.

Our world is an English village. The Jane Austen Bookclub.

It is true. Our world is a village, in other words, in many ways, people and relationship and work and life oriented. But is that all there is? I love the friend I spoke to, the friends I spent time with yesterday. I love my family and friends, the little glimpses we give each other of who we really are. I get it ~ that pleasant, social gathering of which von Hildebrand talks ~ and I get more. I get love ( without being too think).

All Jane Austen, all the time. It’s the perfect antidote.
To what?
To life.

It is. But we are made for more. I am made for more. There is that God shaped vacuum of which Pascal spoke, that restlessness of which St Augustine spoke..these can only be satisfied by worship of God. By that Perfect Love.

And, in human, every day terms, by private prayer and public worship. By the sacraments; the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and of Reconciliation.

Which, to quote von Hildebrand again, must be that sursum corda, that rising up of our hearts, that sacred atmosphere.

I think if you read Austen’s novels…
Oh, I have. You wanted me to, and I did.
I think you’ll see she always writes in favor of order and self-control. Nothing unwise.
So what, this is a rulebook?
We could do worse.

We can have our rules, our Jane Austen code of life….rules and codes are needed. To cast them away, to undertake what amounts to a momentary act of pleasure, without thought for other good, can destroy peace..and thus what appears to bring joy, brings only short term pleasure and gratification and sometimes long lasting sorrow..Which is why I cried out ( apologies to my fellow film watching friends!) Don’t when I thought Prudie ( in the film) was going to throw it away, throw away cautions and that rule book, for something temporary and ultimately shoddy….

Prudie didn’t. She remembered What Would Jane Do?

We can remember these rules, these codes. Yet, just as we need something more than these human relationships to satisfy our souls thus we need more than rules to live by.

We need a foundation for that rulebook.

A foundation of Love.

That going up to the altar of our Lord, meeting God, heart to heart.

How to achieve peace in our lives?

We find peace with God, with Our Lord.

And we find this peace again and again, within our High school’s never over lives ( the Jane Austen film again ), in our prayer and worship, via the sacraments.

In reverent Masses, full of awe .

Worshipping Our Lord.. with the angels and the saints.

When you hear talk about so-called ‘traditionalists’, some think that they are a group with a stubborn and nostalgic attachment to the past. That is not true. In fact, here we find ourselves before a dynamic Christian view of the life of faith and devotion, shared by so many families and their children who are attached to those ancient liturgical and devotional forms which have accompanied the Church through centuries of her history and have formed legions of saints. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos interview for Il Giornale, May 31, 2004


4 thoughts on “Peace”

  1. Leonie — what a breathtaking post! To be honest, I've never been to an Extraordinary form Mass, and I've never completely understood those who get very adamant about this form. But I do understand the need for worship and its sorta-contrast with the social aspect of life. What you've written here is like the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that makes me say "Oh yeah… now I can see the picture."So, thanks!

  2. You hit the nail on the head – sometimes the distractions are so great I come out more agitated! I attend both the EF and OF…this morning's OF was beautifully reverent…as was Monday's EF! It is the reverence, the turning towards God that we need and crave and that is God's due, isn't it? Thanks for your comment!

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