Inner peace.jpg

Inner peace


Margaret Brown is one of The Resident’s longest standing contributors and has lived in the Algarve for more than 20 years. As well as Point of View, she also writes Country Matters twice a month.

THIS YEAR the run up to Christmas was rather quiet. Overshadowed by financial worries as well as world wide concerns, it felt wrong to indulge in the feasting and drinking enjoyed in times past.

Had it not been for the approaching birthday of Christ, a promise unfolding little by little through the period of Advent and marked by a series of candles lit, the old year would have exited on a sour and apprehensive note.

Those candles, week by week, symbolised the approaching light of Christ “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never overcome it” (John 1:5). It is the light of truth that illuminates our deepest sense of right and wrong and is not confined only to professing Christians but to all peoples, being seated within our conscience rather than our emotions.

Advancing age strips away the person one assumes as a defence against the world and in the light of truth there is no hiding place. We may find consolation in the knowledge that unknown to us, throughout our lives and however wrongly we have behaved, Christ has walked beside us and even carried us when the going was very hard.

This is why we should celebrate His birth, with joy and thanksgiving because whether we like it or not, He is there. The rest is up to us, but I am grateful to have found an inner peace rather late in life and, although not yet ready to depart this place, I have a common bond with Simeon. As an old and devout Jew whose life was drawing to a close, he was in the temple when the baby Jesus was presented according to the Law: taking the infant in his arms he said “Lord…… now dismiss your servant in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people”. ( Luke 2: 29-30)