Finding the Peace of God

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

Peace, according to Augustine, is the tranquility of order: for the disturbance of order is the destruction of peace.

This tranquility of order is considered from three aspects: first, insofar as it exists in the principle of order, namely, in God: for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed (Rom 13:1-2).

From that profound source in which peace exists it flows first into the beatified, in whom there is no disturbance either of guilt or of punishment; then it flows into saintly men: the holier he is, the less his mind is disturbed: great peace have those who love your law (Ps 119:165).

Peace considered in that source surpasses all created understanding, as it is stated in 1 Timothy: who alone dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16); behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable (Job 36:26).

As it exists in heaven, it surpasses all the knowledge of the angels; but as it exists in the saints on earth, it surpasses all the knowledge of those who lack grace: to him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone (Rev 2:17).

Therefore may this peace keep your hearts, i.e., your affections, so that you will never depart from the good in anything: keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life (Prov 4:23); and minds, so that they not deviate from the truth in anything.

And this, in Christ Jesus, by whose love your affections are kept from evil and by whose faith your mind continues in the truth.

~ St. Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Philippians” (hard copy)

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