All men have access to it because God dwells in them through the exchange of love between the Father and the Son in the Spirit.

The different Christian denominations offer paths to achieve this peace of God within us that is reflected in our relations.

Peace, this fruit of the Spirit, co-exists  with the Love of God and neighbour.

The more you let yourself be loved by God, the more you become able to love.  And then this peace within us that comes from beyond ourselves  creates a climate of communion, of happiness, of fullness to joy.  It is also the deep and broad meaning of the Shalom inherited from Judaism.  And the Resurrected Jesus offers this peace as the great sign of victory over evil.

When the enemy is trapped in our lives within ourselves and between us, the false peace he gives us disappears with its fruit of desolation.

Then the Lord’s peace transcends our whole being so we can go to the other divine commandment , to love God and our neighbour as ourselves;  religious, political and ethnic conflicts are not annulled but overtaken by Divine love.  A key is the contact, the encounter that allows us over time to bring down our pre-conceived ideas.

My experience helped me to love those I hated. The problem was not my neighbour but me. One day, I met a skinhead,  a young neo-Nazi: Ludovic.  I would have loved to fight with him but perfect love banishes fear, trepidation, stereotypes and clichés. I went beyond this deceptive appearance to see in him a reflection of myself. I could not love him of myself : impossible with my past. …

But my relationship was triangular, only the cross gave me love for Ludovic. He himself, surprised by my gaze and my attitude, was frozen, destabilized. Today he is one of my best friends. Together we cultivate this culture of our violence (our past violence). Together we often bear witness to how God was able to bring us closer when everything stood in our way!!!!

Thanks again to Vassula for allowing us to intellectually disarm the reasoning that divides us. And to allow us to come together and live what we will experience one day in heaven.

 

Pastor Said Oujibou

Lecturer and President of UNACF, Union of North African Christians of France.