Peace I Leave You

Benedictine Sisters' St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, Illinois

For over 20 year Be Not Afraid has been a popular song in funeral liturgies and at retreats. It expresses our human longing to be at peace even in the midst of extraordinary tension and uncomfortable experiences.

We use a similar Taize chant at the Monastery with the simple phrase, “Peace I leave you, Peace I give you, Be not afraid.” I find it a wonderful prayer and very engaging chant. In fact, we used it in today’s liturgy.

The chant serves as an appropriate mantra for discernment. Consider the last visit Jesus had with the disciples, in the upper room after His resurrection where they were gathered in fear. They were lost, broken, grieving and unsure of their next step when Jesus broke through the locked door to embrace them in peace.

The disciples went on to become fearless martyrs and preachers, bringing the message of Jesus to the “ends of the earth.” They made hard decisions, trusted through difficult times and followed their Path as laid out by Jesus.

Jesus promises peace to his followers in all ways and through all experiences. If you are discerning religious life, try incorporating the Taize chant into your daily prayer. Offer it as your prayer to have a peaceful heart which will enable you to be open and trust your discernment. Let it help you let go of your worries and experience peace.

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