“Peace, therefore, as we now have it, is to be treated as something that ought to be both loved and contemned; otherwise, if it is loved immoderately, the soul of him who loves it may be caught in sin. Consequently, the peaceable are also to be admonished not to desire human peace too much and so fail entirely to reprove the evil conduct of men.”
I came across this as I was reading St. Gregory the Great’s “Pastoral Care” this morning. It is a very good reminder, both to pastors as well as members of the congregation. No one likes to be a “disturber of the peace.” As a pastor I can say that nothing gives me more angst than to have to speak up when something is amiss. We love our peace–our earthly peace. We love concord, and that’s not a bad thing. Gregory says we should love it. But he also says we should hate it too. We should not get so comfortable with this world’s peace that we dare not risk it by opening our mouths in reproof or by pointing out an error in doctrine. The temptation is strong to maintain earthly concord, but to do this immoderately, says Gregory, we run the risk of jeopardizing our eternal peace.