Spirituality for Today – Spring 2018 – Volume 22, Issue 3

The Peace of Spring

Rev. Raymond Petrucci

Nature explodes into spring. I seldom imagine the season as a peaceful one, but a season of action. The peace I refer to is not the sleep of nature in the winter or the ubiquitous activity of growth in the blossoming of springtime, but peace of mind. When nature puts all of its beauty on display, there is an opportunity for the weary and the crestfallen to find solace. A walk in a quiet wood, gazing at a sunset, drinking in the scent of a flowery meadow can provide comfort and a way of realigning our thoughts. Not surprisingly, you might be thinking of the merits of meditation, yoga, or some similar approach to inner peace, but this approach is specifically centered on the environment of the beauty of nature. There are a number of countries that have developed programs in this vein. Research suggests that psychological and physical benefits may be attained from this practice. As a nature lover, I aver that the benefits of getting back to nature are many. Is it possible that we are brought to an awareness of something primitive, something existing at our core, a longing for a Garden of Eden where an overall sense of well-being may be acquired?

There is a peacefulness that is far superior to the psyche or to the body. In the Gospels, Jesus calls those who have found life to have become lamentable and devoid of significance to come to him and he will give them comfort and repose. A spiritual peacefulness encompasses the entirety of our being and fills us with much more than feelings of tranquility, but a reason for hope. This time of year contains numerous days dedicated to the celebration of those spiritual events that gives hope to the faithful in their living and dying that no other source in the universe can provide. Lent shatters the masks covering our sins and leads us to digest their effects and to reach an understanding of what must be done to rise renewed from them. Guilt and sorrow humbles us before the One placed upon a cross because of our sins. Our culture has tended to encourage us to eradicate such feelings. I ask you to consider the horrors that would have been avoided if those individuals responsible for the mass murders, characterizing the 21st Century, felt true guilt and contrition for even entertaining the evil thoughts on which they acted. Think of the lives that would have been spared. How much more humane and loving we should be as people if we grasped to gifts contained in the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit infused into the disciples at Pentecost. Yes, how different life would be… and could be.

No form of society can be reasonably stable in which the majority of the people are not fairly content. People cannot be content if they feel the foundations of their lives are wholly unstable.

John Truslow Adams

Well-being is a product of faith. We know that life is a daily progression of experiences both predictable and unpredictable. No matter the number of happy occurrences, thrills, worthy accomplishments, and successes, the whole of life leads to the same end – the grave. If this be the sum total of all of our breathing in and breathing out, what is the point? As the 19th Century English cleric, Charles Caleb Colton said, "True contentment depends not on what we have; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander." Faith brings all of life into a fulfilling and contented completion… or, more accurately, blossoming. The comfort and assurances of faith is the result of the compassionate companionship of Christ leading us to eternal life in his love. For humanity, nature with its green trees and blue skies dotted in white clouds, its glorious sunsets and the blazing colors of autumn, its white, winter landscapes and ice sickles brilliant in the sunshine, all give evidence of God's creative hand and his spiritually inspirational gifts. Faith enlivens the recognition of our link to our living God and the peace it brings.