The Surprising Path to Peace in a Frenzied World
'Our Founding Fathers believed in divine providence, relying on it as they waged' war for independence
Life today has assumed a frenzied pace. Each of us has duties to fulfill and opportunities to explore. Multitasking has become the rule of the day, and trying to stay afloat means juggling work responsibilities, family commitments, and a vast array of other tasks.
Amid the rumble, people are asking: Where can I find peace?
Religious faith offers a practical answer.
Faith invites all people of goodwill to see life through the lens of God’s divine providence — namely, to see all things as a part of a divine plan. Faith makes the bold confession that all things owe their nature, reality, and strength to the will of God. Divine providence declares that God cares for the world and that He has a unique and intimate love for humanity, as the crown of His creation.
Our Founding Fathers believed in divine providence. They relied on it as they waged the most countercultural war of independence in human history. It was providence that gave them their belief in human freedom and sustained them through dark nights, battles and debates. It was divine providence that George Washington regularly called upon for guidance.
It is divine providence that continues to bless our nation and our efforts for truth and goodness.
In our own lives, we are also called to realize divine providence. We are invited every day to see how beautifully God arranges all the things of this world and how He so wonderfully guides them so as to care for us and our needs. Providence offers us a solution against despair and a strategy against nihilism. Providence shows us that darkness or meaninglessness does not win. In discerning God’s care for us and His plan for our lives, we are able to find hope and peace.
Rather than some pie-in-the-sky offering or some psychological “warm and fuzzy,” divine providence calls us to appreciate and live in the present moment. It’s present moment that best provides us the opportunity to grow in our understanding of God’s presence and goodness. Rather than living with past hurts or in future hopes, we are summoned to live right here and now.
We are invited to see God’s action in the very thing we’re doing right now, whether that’s making a huge business deal, lounging in our living rooms, doing the dishes, or spending time with a suffering loved one in the hospital. Whatever it might be — a consolation or a heartache — God is present and this action is a part of His plan.
This knowledge helps us to find the meaning, purpose, and value of all that we do in this life.
In life, we must embrace our tasks, perform them virtuously, and find God in the midst of them. We are fed, strengthened, purified, and enriched through the faithful fulfillment of our duties in the present moment.
Faith nudges us through life. It inspires us to see God’s providence in all that we do. It provides us with snapshots of eternity in the present moment and offers us peace.
Such peace is the rich fruit of an abandonment to God’s providence. This peace confirms within us a tranquility of order, a meaning for life, and a call to love and labor for goodness.
By fighting the good fight, we can work to discern God’s presence in all that we do.
The process of accepting divine providence is demanding and consoling. It is gentle yet firm toward us as one moment leads us to another and each one discloses a new lesson, a new hope, and a deeper meaning of life to us.
In life, we are called to do our part in society and to fulfill our responsibilities. We can do so without peace and hope. We can live in despair as pseudo-zombies, if we choose. Or, by fighting the good fight, we can work to discern God’s presence in all that we do.
We can labor to see His divine care for us and our world. We can choose peace. We can live in the hope of better things and of a more perfect world.
This is the invitation of faith. It is the path to peace in a frenzied world.
Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, STD, is pastor of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land, South Carolina. He is the author of the recent book, “Be Not Troubled: A Six-Day Personal Retreat with Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade.”