Spiritual giants throughout the centuries and in our present day agree that God acts in the soul that is at peace. But modern life seems to be hell-bent on keeping us plugged in, stressed out, and too exhausted to even think about how to be more at peace.
When busyness threatens to take over, I have to work hard to search for and maintain peace in my personal and family life. But when I intentionally cultivate peace, God starts to move mountains in my life and in my family. Peace is just that big of a deal.
Here are 7 strategies to help you experience more peace in your personal or family life:
- Prayer and worship. When you create intentional space for God every single day, you simultaneously make room for peace.
- Leisure. Make time for play, celebration, and relaxation. Work should not be a seven-day, around-the-clock habit. Creation was ordered toward the day of rest! If God prioritized rest and leisure, you should too.
- Abandonment to God’s will. Letting things be out of your control and in God’s is a game-changer for maintaining peace in your life. Hand your anxieties to Him, remembering His yoke is easy and His burden light.
- Patience with others and with ourselves. Inching closer to sanctity takes a great deal of time and effort. St. Francis de Sales said that “nothing retards progress in a virtue so much as wanting to acquire it with too much haste.” Peace comes when we have patience with the growth process.
- The sacraments. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive Jesus—the source of all peace—in the Holy Eucharist, and the chance to recommit yourself to peace when you are far from it through the Sacrament of Confession.
- Spiritual reading. If you are serious about cultivating peace, you have to make an effort to learn about how to continuously build on it, and spiritual reading helps you do that. (Here is one of my favorite reads on the topic.)
- Living in the present moment. Catholic convert from Judaism Francois-Marie-Jacob Libermann advised, “Be docile and pliable in the hands of God.” To do this, we have to be comfortable allowing God to form us and lead us in the present moment, and be unmoved by mistakes of the past or concerns of the future.
St. Augustine said, “For peace is a good so great, that even in this earthly and mortal life there is no word we hear with such pleasure, nothing we desire with such zest, or find to be so thoroughly gratifying.”
Peace is worth turning your schedule upside-down for, getting on your knees for, reforming good habits and breaking bad ones for. Do the hard work it takes to bring a little more peace into your personal or family life.