1. Peaceableness consists in willingly making a sacrifice for the sake of remaining at peace with one’s neighbor, or reconciling one’s self with him.
Abraham was content to take the worst portion of the land, in order to keep the peace with Lot’s servants (Gen. xiii.). St. Francis of Sales was unjustly expelled from a lodging he had taken in Rome; he quitted it without a murmur, and the next night a hurricane destroyed the house. St. Ignatius of Loyola, when returning from Palestine, was rudely refused a passage in the ship on which he wished to embark. That vessel sank on its way to Europe; the one in which he sailed got safely to port. Peace is invaluable to mankind. The angels who announced the birth of Christ could wish nothing better to man (Luke ii. 14). Our Lord promised to give His peace to His apostles (John xiv. 27), and He saluted them with the words: “Peace be to you” (John xx. 26). This was also the salutation He placed upon their lips when He sent them forth to preach (Matt. x. 12). All the good things of this world cannot please us, if we are not at peace, for without peace we can enjoy nothing. Peacemakers are like God; He is not the God of dissension, but of peace (1 Cor. xiv. 33). He is the Lord of peace (2 Thess. iii. 16). The prophets foretold His coming as the Prince of peace (Is. ix. 6). And at the birth of Christ the temple of Janus was closed, because peace reigned everywhere.
2. Peacemakers enjoy the special protection of God, and receive a hundredfold as the reward of all that they give up for the sake of peace.
Our Lord says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt. v. 9). God will replace a hundredfold all that we surrender for the sake of peace. We have seen how St. Francis of Sales and St. Ignatius were saved from disaster and death through their love of peace. Not only in this world, but also in the life to come, does God reward us for all that we do for His sake (Mark x. 29). Forgiveness and forbearance are better than contention and complaining.
3. Hence every one ought to be willing to make concessions for the sake of peace, and as far as lies in his power, to avoid all that may engender strife.
We ought to put up with a great deal for the sake of peace. “Bear ye one another’s burdens” (Gal. vi. 2). Many people are peaceable as long as no one interferes with them, and all goes on in accordance with their will; but the slightest contradiction irritates them terribly. Such people are like stagnant water, which is all well enough as long as it is left alone; but stir it up, and it emits a most unpleasant odor. We ought also carefully to avoid everything that may stir up contention. One should never contradict any one without a good reason. St. Teresa bids us never to enter upon a strife of words about matters of no importance, especially at one’s own fire side. A ship in which the timbers are not well joined will sink; so every community will fall to pieces whose members are not welded together with the bonds of love. However, one must not for the sake of peace omit or give up anything which God commands; that is not the peace God desires; hence Our Lord says: “Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth; I came not to send peace but the sword” (Matt. x. 34). Some people will not let you be at peace with them unless you acquiesce in their evil deeds, such peace is un lawful.
This article, PEACEABLENESS is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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