Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Peace and Obedience

I grew up singing "Peace is Flowing Like a River" at tghe Holy Eucharist. Like many songs written since the Council, this one is loosely based on a scriptural passage. Isaiah 48:18 reads (in part): "Then your peace would have been like a river." Notice that in the song, the verb is changed from a contrary-to-fact subjunctive ("would have been") to a factual indicative ("is flowing"). Now in one sense, we can say that this situation of peace has come about with the coming of Jesus Christ, and our peace is no longer in doubt. And yet at the same time, we should reckon with the rest of the sentence. "O that you had hearkened to my commandments!" If peace flows from within you and me, then it is because the Just One, Jesus Christ, proved Himself perfectly obedient to God's commandments. Likewise, when we find ourselves troubled inwardly, one place to begin to recover peace is by a conversion of heart to a deeper reckoning of God's will for us and the pathway laid out by Christ.

The way of the Cross is the way of peace. It is from the cross that Jesus' side is opened and peace streams forth.

1 comment:

Br. Allen, OP said...

Amen!

I enjoy reading your postings, and this one is no exception. While the temptation to critique the (grave) shortcomings of modern liturgical music is a strong one, it is beautiful how you have used one of these short-comings to preach the truth of the Cross.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.


Origen of Alexandria
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