Sanctity… the treasure that none discover because they suppose it to be too far away to be sought. – Jean Pierre de Caussade
What does that mean?
This quote is from a French Priest in the period known as the Age of Reason or Age of Enlightenment (from mid 1600s until the late 1700s). The quote comes from a much longer passage, which discusses the search for spiritual grace.
While the quote is very specifically Christian in the original context, I believe it applies to all of us, no matter what our religion is (or even is not). It is my belief that we all want to feel connected with the greater good, and feel at peace.
His use of the term ‘sanctity’ here is describing the state of grace which can be found in giving up our willfulness, especially when things cannot be changed. He also believes it can be found in suffering bravely that which is unavoidable.
The quote, as excerpted, is about finding peace and grace everywhere around us. Whether it is laughing off an insult, or smiling at a stranger, peace and grace surround us.
The opportunities for peace and grace are not hiding deep in a cave or on a remote mountain top. It is everywhere, if we but look for it, and act once we find the opportunity.
Why is seeking peace and grace important?
By this, I mean peace as in inner peace, not Peace on Earth. While the latter is a noble cause, we have limited control of the armies in other countries. However, we have a great deal of control (at least as much as we have developed) over our inner peace.
In this context, grace means a form of oneness or unity with the world around us. The opposite would be as the waves smashing themselves against the rocks or the sand of the beach. That sounded a bit goofy, but I hope you got the picture.
Think about your life, and when you have had peace and grace (by these definitions), and when you did not. Do you consider peace and grace to be something which you might wish to pursue? From my experience, the sensations are well worth the effort, even if they are temporary.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Let’s start by figuring out what peace and grace mean to you. Trying for a textbook definition probably isn’t the best way to go, but we can probably find a feeling from your past that qualifies. Take a moment and try to remember when you felt at peace and connected with the world around you.
Do you remember what you were doing? Can you think of any other times when you felt like that? What about a feeling which was even close? What was going on when those feelings were with you? Is there a pattern, or series of events which seem to be related to these feeling?
For me, providing assistance to someone else is usually the center of the feelings. It doesn’t matter whether it’s getting something of the top shelf at the grocery store or teaching a class on Motorcycle Safety, the very act of helping helps me feel centered and grounded. Peaceful and in a state of grace.
What, specifically, was it that helped you feel those feelings? Can you think of times when doing those same things gave very different results? In my case, being forced or ordered to do something often takes the joy out of doing something.
The point is to figure out what you can do to find these treasures hidden in plain sight. They are everywhere, if you know what you are looking for. That was the whole point of the exercise, to find out what you are looking for.
Knowing that, you can begin to seek out these things, whatever they may be, in your daily life. Perhaps, as the quote suggests, they are everywhere, and you just need to be attuned to them. Once you know what they are, how easy is it to simply reach out and touch the treasure, and feel the peace and grace?
It won’t always be easy. In working on this blog, I have one post which seems to gather a lot of attention. This leads to me spending quite some time helping others. Sometimes it can be a little frustrating. But for me, the treasure is in the helping of others. And I seek that treasure when I can.
What are you willing to do to find inner peace and spiritual grace? I believe you will find it is much easier to attain, and much closer at hand, than you imagined. Seek it, do it, and be sanctified.
From: Twitter, @caddguru
confirmed at : GoogleBooks: Abandonment to Devine Providence – by Jean-Pierre de Caussade – the quote is from a much longer passage, follow the link for the details
Photo by American Center Mumbai
- Timeless spiritual classic “Abandonment to Divine Providence” released … (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- Activate Your Life: The Peaceful Living Starter Kit (theanjananetwork.net)