When I first began attending Mass, several parts spoken by the priest burned into my heart. One was The Gloria, when everyone sings, “…and peace to his people of good will.” Then there was the part after the Our Father when the priest says, “Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day.” I am sorry, but I felt I had lived with every evil for the last umpteen years. I had little peace in my day. The priest also said, “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” I had lived four years in constant pain and fear. There was no peace in my heart, and I could see none in the near future. So for these priests, gentle men that they are, to wish me peace…always…was my deepest desire. In another part of the Mass, the priest says, “May you be free from all anxiety.” Again, this is exactly what I wanted. It was what I needed…to be free from all anxiety.
I was confirmed into the Catholic Church as a full member on Saturday night at the Easter Vigil. I received the Host in Holy Communion with all the other faithful people who worship the Lord. My anticipation of receiving this sacrament was the same that I felt as a bride. No wonder this comparison is used so often in the Scriptures.
I cannot even begin to express the joy and peace I felt, and have been feeling for days, as I participate fully in the Body of the Church. There is an inner quiet in my heart that has been missing for longer than I can remember, if it was ever there at all. There is a happiness that envelopes me throughout each day and into the night.
“The peace of the Lord be with you always.” How beautiful. How simple. How obtainable.