The inner sanctum of inner peace
Inner Peace is the single most important quality for establishing ethical practices in business — any business, any position, any career. To reclaim inner peace is the first duty of a Christian, since the more peace one possesses, the more he will reflect it toward others, and ultimately, the more tranquility and happiness will exist in the society.
Sometimes we get priorities arranged in the wrong order. For example, we focus on a particular (often important) part of business practice, such as fair compensation for employees. While viewed as something good (and it is), we first must establish within ourselves a sense of peace before addressing an issue.
God promises the free gift of peace: “My peace I give you, my peace I leave you.” (John 14:27). Without inner peace, we will be buffeted continually by the turmoil of the present moment, and further distracted by concerns about the future. Such concerns can swiftly become an attachment to outcomes, our expectations. I often think that expectations should be properly defined as “planned disappointment,” since we are commonly found wanting when reality sets in – our expected outcome is a mismatch from what we envisioned.
It is often said that the cause of all suffering is attachment. Our attachments often rob us of inner peace. Want proof? Attachments to the past are the seedbed for regrets, guilt and endless-loop ruminations about mistakes and wrong choices. Similarly, attachments to the future accelerate worry, anxiety and tension. All such attachments, whether weak or strong, are emotional experiences that (a) distract us from the present moment and (b) rob us of inner peace.
A good friend of mine in Chicago told me about a nearby bar in his neighborhood that has a sign in front which says “Free Beer Tomorrow.” Tomorrow never arrives. Repeat, tomorrow never arrives. All we have is now and only in the now can we experience God’s presence… a presence where his will, purpose and peace are being unfolded before us.
We must pray daily for God’s will, all aspects of it… to find, follow and fulfill His will obediently and faithfully – and peacefully. Within the heart of such a prayer, we must be wary of a hidden attachment, such as the persistence of “Lord, show me your will for this relationship.” Or, “For this business decision.” Or, “For this health concern.” While intentions are good for such prayers, we take the risk of being so fixated on one, and only one aspect of God’s will that we constrict the flow of grace to a narrow, one- lane freeway on the broad path of purpose. This is contrary to the simple act of praying for all aspects of God’s will, whatever they are and asking that His Holy will be revealed in God’s perfect timing.
When we lose inner peace, we see life differently – often in an agitated, anxious, more alarmed state. Yet, all the reasons for losing our inner peace are bad reasons. The main reason for losing peace is the fear of the being without something – a geographical location, a good relationship, an economic condition, our health. The only way to address this fear is total (not partial) trust in God. I often pray: “Jesus, I trust in you. Help my lack of trust.” It is an act of trust in His divine providence, inspired by the title of DeCaussade’s spiritual classic: Abandonment to Divine Providence (Yes, abandonment, total surrender).
St. John of the Cross tells us that “God gives in the measure we expect of him” and St. Francis de Sales joins with “The measure of Divine Providence acting on us is the degree of confidence we have in it.”
So seek interior peace, confidently. Staying in a state of grace enables one to cherish it within the soul, and to redeem more and more as God’s free flow of peace envelops one’s life. This inner sanctum is the basis for any successful policy, procedure, or practice applied in the workplace.
(NOTE: Much of the inspiration for this article comes from the writings of Fr. Jacques Philippe. The reader is encouraged to obtain a copy of Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Fr. Philippe).
RICK SARKISIAN, PH.D. is author of numerous books and articles on life purpose, and on St. Joseph as model for authentic manhood. He has been a vocational rehabilitation consultant for over 40 years, assisting those with traumatic, often catastrophic, injuries, and also serves as an expert witness in civil litigation. He co-hosts “Living on Purpose” with Michael Wick on Radio Maria Network and has recently completed a series on St. Joseph with EWTN host Johnnette Benkovic. He has spoken at various Legatus Chapters in California where he resides.