by Demi Prentiss
St. Seraphim of Sarov is often quoted as having said, “Acquire inner peace and thousands around you will find their salvation.”
All during Christmas and Epiphany, we Christians have focused our awareness on the Light of Christ. As we walk our Lenten journey, we’re invited to practice silence and stillness, discovering Christ’s light within our own hearts as well as in the world around us. Our Lenten practices can help us nurture that light, grounding us in the peace that Christ’s presence brings.
The daily work of practicing inner stillness can free us to remember who we are – a Child of God, beloved and called. And in that clarity of our true identity, joy blossoms as quietly as a flower unfolding. That joy is the wellspring of the generosity – in terms of possessions and time, skills and spirit – that is the hallmark of one who follows Christ’s way of love.
Seraphim understands that joy as God’s irresistible gift – whenever we receive that joy and offer it to another, it sets the world alight. “We cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives.” In the sharing and receiving, such a community of joy participates in the reign of God.
May our inner work in Lent lead us to the realization that our daily work – offering ourselves as such conduits of joy – can bring us to a place of true peace.