Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.” Spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Today, at the beginning of our Advent season, we celebrate the memorial of St. Francis Xavier. As a young man, he was greatly influenced by St. Ignatius Loyola and was ordained a priest. Francis Xavier, along with several friends, began a religious order in 1543 and, in 1540, Pope Paul III approved the formation of the order, the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits.
Francis Xavier spent his life as a missionary. He went to many countries and spoke to many peoples, spreading the Good News and giving those to whom he spoke great hope and comfort. He has been designated as the Patron Saint of Catholic Missions because of the zeal he exemplified in his ministry.
Francis Xavier was able to do everything he did because he had an interior peace that fueled him and helped him to face many difficult situations. So often, we look for inner peace in our own lives. We convince ourselves that certain experiences or certain people will give us inner peace. That peace cannot be found from without, however; it can only be found from within.
We are preparing to celebrate the birth of a Child whom we call, among many titles, the Prince of Peace. God is the only one that can give us the peace we seek. We must look within, sometimes quite deep within, to find the peace of God. We often block that peace by distractions of all kind. Advent gives us the opportunity to focus inward, identify the great gifts of God, and respond to Him in love from a deeply-rooted peace.
As we are at the beginning of the Advent season, it might be a good idea to look at your life and see how many distractions — inner as well as outer — you have in your life that keep you from focusing on God. You can make a list and try to determine what you need to do to remove them so that you may be more grounded in Christ’s peace.
FAITH ACTION: In quiet prayer this day, reflect upon the peace that the Christ-child brought to His people.