“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.” The image of the Lord knocking on the door of our hearts inspires me and at times can move me to tears. But the Lord cannot enter if the door is locked. There is no handle on the outside. The only way in is to open the door from the inside. Surely, God is almighty and all-powerful and could easily push open the door or go through it. But our Lord is loving, gentle and kind. He will never force his way through but welcomes your loving invitation to come dine with you in your heart, to pray with you in your heart, to exchange hope and love and healing with you in your heart so that he may offer you his grace, his mercy, his peace in your heart. The challenge for us is that we prefer not to think about our hearts or even mention we have one. For some, the heart is a sensitive issue, topic, place. It may have been stolen or broken, used or forgotten, hurt or torn in two. Or perhaps we simply decided for what ever reason to move out of our hearts and prefer to live in a world that is fast, hectic, busy, noisy – a world that is detached from prayer, dominated by technology, spiritually starved, personally unsociable. That noisy world seeks to fill every minute with more stuff – to occupy all time leaving no room for quiet, silence, peace – no room or time for God. That fast, hectic, busy, noisy world drowns out the voice of God who graciously invites us to spend much needed quiet time with him in prayer in the silence of our hearts so that we may share in the joy, love, peace we where created in. So, please consider these simple steps to draw you closer to God and enter more fully into his peace. Be attentive in prayer by placing yourself in a quiet place in order to avoid all distractions so you could hear God’s voice and be more present to him. Be helpless in prayer. We are dependent on God for everything. Sometimes we need to ask God to walk with us – sometimes we need to ask him to carry us. Be pleading in prayer. Ask God for help and mercy. Pray for the Church, for yourself, for your neighbor, for the world. Be trusting in prayer. Trust in God. Believe in him. Have faith in his grace. God loves us. He wants to help. Persevere in prayer. Despite difficulties or setbacks, keep praying. May the peace of Christ dwell in your heart for ever. Fr. Ivan