Posted October 9, 2006
Book: Search for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart
Author: Father Jacques Philippe
Alba House. New York. 2002. Pp. 110
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
We live in a day and age characterized by an extraordinary amount of agitation and lack of peace. This tendency manifests itself in our spiritual as well as our secular life. In our search for God and holiness, in our service to our neighbor, a kind of restlessness and anxiety take the place of the confidence and peace which ought to be ours. What must we do to overcome the moments of fear and distress which assail us all too often in our lives? How can we learn to place all our confidence in God and abandon ourselves into his loving care? This is what is taught in this simple, yet profound little treatise on peace of heart. Taking concrete examples from our everyday life, the author invites us to respond in a Gospel fashion to the upsetting situations we must all confront. Since peace of heart is a pure gift of God, it is something we should seek, pursue and ask him for without cease. This book is here to help us in that pursuit.
An Excerpt from the Book:
To preserve our hearts in perfect tranquility, it is still necessary to ignore some interior feelings of remorse which seem to come from God, because they are reproaches that our conscience makes to us regarding true faults, but which come, in effect, from the evil spirit as can be judged by what ensues. If the twinges of conscience serve to make us more humble, if they render us more fervent in the practice of good works, if they do not diminish the trust that one must have in divine mercy, we must accept them with thanksgiving, as favors from heaven. But if they trouble us, if they dishearten us, if they render us lazy, timid, slow to perform our duties, we must believe that these are the suggestions of the enemy and do things in a normal way, not designing to listen to them.
Let us understand this: For the person of goodwill, that which is serious in sin is not so much the fault in itself as the despondency into which it places him. He who falls but immediately gets up has not lost much. He has rather gained in humility and in the experience of mercy. He who remains sad and defeated loses much more. The sign of spiritual progress is not so much never falling as it is being able to lift oneself up quickly after one falls.
Table of Contents:
Part One: Interior Peace, the road to saintliness
1. Without me, you can do nothing.
2. Interior peace and apostolic fruitfulness
3. Peace and spiritual combat
4. Peace is often at stake in the struggle
5. The reasons why we lose our peace are always bad reasons
6. Goodwill, a necessary condition for peace
7. Goodwill: sufficient condition for peace
Part Two: How to react to that which causes us to lose peace
1. The troubles of life and the fear of being without
2. Our difficulty in believing in providence
3. The fear of suffering
4. To grow in confidence: a child’s prayer
5. One abandons oneself completely or not at all
6. God asks for everything, but he doesn’t necessarily take everything
7. What do do when you are unable to abandon yourself?
8. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
9. Attitude when confronted with the suffering of those close to us
10. In all people who suffer there is Jesus
11. The faults and shortcomings of others
12. Patience towards others
13. Patience vis-a-vis our own faults
14. God can draw good even from our faults
15. What should we do when we have sinned?
16. Unrest when we have decisions to make
17. The royal way of love
18. Some advice in the guise of a conclusion
Part Three: What the saints tell us
Juan de Bonilla
Francis de Sales
Teresa of Avila
Marie of the Incarnation