On the table to the left of my computer is a small plaque that reads: “Seek Peace and Pursue it.” St. Benedict wrote these words for his community way back when. This afternoon I head out to St. John’s campus where I will be attending a retreat with friends who are members of the same contemplative body as I. St. John’s University was founded by the Benedictines and the retreats I attend there always have a Benedictine flavor. It is one of those things I go along with even though I am a Franciscan in my heart. I am also a Quaker in my heart, but that is another story.

The overlapping of my coming across Benedict’s quote and the retreat is a coincidence I should probably pay attention to, but I would rather note the overlap between Benedict and this blog. The title I chose ten years ago when it was launched is “My Thoughts on Peace.” At the time, I was a student of Peace Pilgrim, a woman who walked several times across the nation for peace around the time of the Vietnam War. She taught me that peace in country and peace in one’s self are basically the same thing. In fact, the path to peace in the world, she taught, begins with peace within.

I am thinking about Peace today as I watch the new and the solution that Peace offers me as I head out this afternoon. Peace within doesn’t come easy to me. I have to work at it. My spiritual director calls the practice of meditation work. Indeed it is. I have to work at it every day to make peace stick.

Another way to get peace to stick is to associate with others trying to do the same thing. That is what the retreat is about.



  1. Well said Judy. I’m looking forward to following along as you express so well your thoughts and experience.

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