Peace Pilgrim embraced a life of voluntary simplicity, gradually paring down her possessions and attachments over a period of fifteen years. Looking back on her life, she referred to a mountaintop experience in which she experienced what she called “the first glimpse of what the life of inner peace was like.” That experience set the course for the rest of her journey.
She came to realize that peace was impossible for people whose lives are not in harmony with the laws that govern the universe. “Insofar as we disobey these laws,” she remarked, “we create difficulties for ourselves by our disobedience. We are our own worst enemies. If we are out of harmony through ignorance, we suffer somewhat; but if we know better and are still out of harmony, then we suffer a great deal.
“So,” she explained, “I got busy on a very interesting project. This was to live all the good things I believed in. I did not confuse myself by trying to take them all at once, but rather, if I was doing something that I knew I should not be doing, I stopped doing it, and I always made a quick relinquishment. You see, that’s the easy way. Tapering off is long and hard. And if I was not doing something that I knew I should be doing, I got busy on that. It took the living quite a while to catch up with the believing, but of course it can, and now if I believe something, I live it.”1
Wish you could say the same? I know I do. Why take the long, hard way to peace when we have it in our power to do the things we should and not do the things we shouldn’t? Let’s ask God right now for the grace to embrace a very interesting project—to start living what we believe.
- Peace Pilgrim, “My Spiritual Growing Up: My Steps toward Inner Peace,” chap. 2 in Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words, Peace Pilgrim website, http://www.peacepilgrim.com/book/chapt2.htm