Wisdom needed for achieving peace

Posted on October 26, 2023 in: Articles

By Fr. Eugene Hemrick

Yeshua Fellow


EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Hemrick, who lives in Washington, DC, writes: “Lots of protesters, arrests, fences and the presence of increased police ensured this reflection.”

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The best means for achieving peace of mind are found in wise poetic quotes that penetrate the soul of life.

Buddha points us to the first place for pursuing peace: “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

The Dalai adds to this: “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

Albert Einstein points to the virtue of understanding as a necessity for seeking peace: “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”

Mother Teresa points to a missing link in achieving peace: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

Thomas Merton addresses the spiritual heart of peace: “We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.”

Mahatma Gandhi exhorts us to examine the wrong way to gain peace: “An eye for an eye ends us making the whole world blind.”

Baruch Spinoza points us to virtues needed for obtaining peace: “Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” 

St. Francis de Sales implores us to remain calm when seeking peace: “Do not be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your entire world seems upset.”

John F. Kennedy expands on Francis de Sales: “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”

Maria Schell says: “Peace is when time doesn't matter as it passes by.”

Lyndon Johnson adds: “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles, and it must be taken one step at a time.”

Mother Teresa reminds us of a simple principle of peace: “Peace begins with a smile.”

Henri Nouwen adds: “Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits.”

Today’s wars and divisions are increasing hardness of the heart, especially in those who cannot see light beyond the tunnel.

One way to obtain light needed to cope with dark times is to take to heart the light found in poetical quotations that replace pessimism with optimism, helplessness with courage and the mundane with spirituality.

Stay safe. Ciao.