On the final day of our Novena of Peace, it is important to recognize that conscious awareness turned into compassionate action is the truest path to peace. We become instruments of peace by understanding our ability, responsibility, and power to embrace peace, become peace, and share peace. You can easily insert the word “love” in place of peace and the result will be the same.
In Opening Hearts: A Cardiovascular Surgeon Reflects on Faith, Healing, Love & the Meaning of Life, Dr. Sauvage suggests having a personal spiritual action plan to develop the necessary awareness to find our unique “servant’s way,” our pathway to peace. Outwardly, his four-step Spiritual Action Plan is very simple but each step challenges us to become more consciously aware of our true nature, our enormous power, our daily (even moment-by-moment) choices, and our elemental responsibilities. Luckily, each step supports the others so that the tasks involved feed our souls as they develop our awareness. His steps, in their simplest form, are:
- Visit frequently with God.
- Embrace and live each day to the fullest.
- Cultivate gratitude and forgiveness.
- Serve God by serving humanity.
In explaining Step 4 further, Dr. Sauvage writes:
“For those of us who desire peace and joy in our lives (and in the world) compassionate service is not a burdensome responsibility. It is a joy-filled path to true peace. It is a vocation; a Divine calling. Vocations are not just for religious people; they are for everyone. Having a vocation is more about how and why we do what we do rather than the specifics of what we do. When we do everything with love because God first loved us, we are living into our vocation. It doesn’t matter whether our vocation is within our work or career, or hobbies, or family situation, or all of it. It matters that in whatever way we choose to be of service, we do so freely as a response to God’s love rather than as an obligation based on guilt or another’s demands.”
To become instruments of peace in a way that can truly change our world, let us challenge each other to be more consciously aware of the choices we make for our bodies, minds, and spirits. Let us embrace our Oneness with God and each other recognizing our interdependence. And let us cultivate the radical forgiveness and gratitude that enables us to serve God by serving each other.
May peace rest on you, be within you, and flow from you.