From a sermon attributed to Peter Chrysologus, bishop
|Blessed are the peacemakers|
Blessed are the peacemakers, the evangelist said, dearest brethren, for they shall be called sons of God. Truly Christian virtues grow in a man who enjoys the unchangeable possession of Christian peace, nor does one come to the title of son of God except through that of peacemaker.
Peace, dearest brethren, rescues man from servitude, provides him with the name of a free man, changes his identity before God together with his condition, from a servant to a son, and from a slave to a free man. Peace among brethren is the will of God, the joy of Christ, the completion of holiness, the rule of justice, the teacher of truth, the guardian of morals and a praiseworthy discipline in every regard. Peace lends strength to our prayers; it is the way our petitions can reach God easily and be credited; it is the plenitude which fulfills our desires. Peace is the mother of love, the bond of concord and the manifest sign of a pure soul, one which seeks to please God, which seeks to be fulfilled and has its desire rewarded. Peace must be preserved according to the Lord’s precepts, as Christ said: I leave you peace, my peace I give you, that is, as I left you in peace, in peace shall I find you. As Christ left the world, he wished to leave the gift he wanted to find when he returned.
We have a commandment from heaven to retain his gift; his one word is: “I shall find what I left.” God’s is the planting of peace in the root, but the uprooting is from the enemy; for, just as brotherly love comes from God, so hatred comes from the devil; therefore, we must condemn our hatred of men, for it is written: He who hates his brother is a murderer.
Now you see, dearest brethren, why we should love peace and cultivate harmony: because they beget and nurture love. But you know also from the apostle John that, Love comes from God, and that whoever is not with God does not possess love.
Let us therefore, my brethren, keep the commandments which are life for us; let us carry on together the obligations of our brotherhood in profound peace; let us bind one another with the ties of salvific charity in this mutual love which covers a multitude of sins. Love ought to be embraced with the grasp of all our desires, since the goods it provides amount to as many rewards. We must keep peace before all other virtues, since God is always in peace.
Love peace, and all the world will be tranquil and quiet. By doing so you store up rewards for me, and joy for yourselves, that the Church of God may be founded on the bond of peace and may cling to perfect observance in Christ.