Keep Peace or Give a Piece of my Mind

Peace is something most people I know yearn for. We want to believe Jesus when he says he has the peace that surpasses all understanding and that it is for us.

It is, but it comes slowly, with deliberate effort on our part. Then there’s the discerning: when do break that peace to give the proverbial piece of my mind?

How does one achieve peace?  I mean the peace of the person who never seems frazzled or stressed or put out. That person, though, often has just as much or more going on their lives as you do. You, on the other hand, can’t seem to find peace if someone handed it to with your morning coffee!

We want a peaceful spirit, one walking the path God puts us on and taking the bumps in the road in stride.

For most people, the answer to having peace is prayer. Specifically meditation or contemplation, not prayers we read or say or write but the prayer of silence and putting yourself in the presence of God.

Let’s say that we have arrived at peace.  We go through our days with joy. We show others care and concern and foremost in our mind is surrendering to the world with a peaceful spirit.  After much time practicing this, it becomes our second nature.  (I have no idea how long that takes, since I haven’t arrived there just yet.)

Crisis arrives and now we have a decision to make.  Do I act on this situation or let it go?  Jesus wants us to have peace, but he does not suggest we do not stand up for what we believe is right.

As a mother, most crises involving my children bring out less than peaceful thoughts, especially if it is a moral issue or one involving a truth of the faith being questioned.  In those instances, speaking to the person causing the problem and trying to fix it would seem to justify breaking peace.  In issues of safety and welfare of children, I think most people would agree that not letting the issue go is more important than keeping the peace.

Other times the answer may not be so clear.  For example, if my friend’s spouse is having an affair and I confront the spouse with what I know and nothing changes, do I go to my friend?  Or do I let it go since I have no way of changing anything?

In my own life, I made a commitment to a dying friend to stand by her and follow her wishes in regard to her care, her family and her friends.  I did not always agree, but I have peace because she was the one dying, and allowing her to make choices when so much was being taken from her peace was my only honest option.

When you have prayed and discerned and talked with trusted friends about the issue, then you must decide: Do I want to keep peace or will I have peace only by speaking up and being heard and making sure the issue gets resolved?

Sometimes you will not have the resolution you want, and will have to disengage yourself from the situation.  If you know that God is calling you to speak up then you know he will give you the grace, whatever the outcome, to see the situation resolved.

As a friend commented, “I guess it really does come down to the Serenity Prayer.”  I agree.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Copyright © 2012, Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She serves on the retreat team at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at, serves as the editor of the blog, and is a contributor there as well as at Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She is the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” published by Our Sunday Visitor. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.

Leave a Reply

next post: Hot Dogs and Evangelization

previous post: Taking Aggressive Action