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The Nectar of Spiritual Tranquility

Updated on January 24, 2022

“I simply cannot build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death…. peace and tranquillity will return again.” ~ Anne Frank

Although known primarily for his work with the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman would occasionally release a solo record in between recording with the legendary band that bore his name and his relentless touring schedule.
One such recording, a personal favorite of mine, was entitled “Laid Back,” which included songs of a more melancholy, slinky, jazz-oriented nature such as “Queen of Hearts” and “Multi-Colored Lady.” Another, which was released in 1994, was entitled “Searching For Simplicity.”

An album rife with songs rooted in sentimentality tinged with regret brought on by addiction, heartbreak, tragedy, and loss, the album cover depicted a photo of Gregg as a young boy, maybe 7 or 8 years old and riding a bicycle, a far cry from his flowing golden-haired, tattooed rockstar appearance. It would appear that after a life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, an older, humbler, scarred but smarter Gregg Allman was indeed searching for simplicity. In an interview he granted during the waning years of his life, he wore both a Crucifix and a Miraculous Medal prominently around his neck.

Paul urges this same type of simplicity of heart in today’s 1st Reading (1 Timothy 2:1-8) when he urges those he has been called to shepherd to “lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity,” going on to point out that “this is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.”

I’m reminded of our reading from the book of Sirach (3:21) about 3 weeks ago wherein our author warns us “Not to seek that which is too sublime.” Our path to heaven is clearly rooted in simplicity of body, mind and spirit.

It was the Indian philosopher and royal advisor Chanakya who said “The happiness and peace attained by those satisfied by the nectar of spiritual tranquility is not attained by greedy persons restlessly moving here and there.” God’s teachings, as made manifest by the life of his son Jesus, are the teachings which comprise the truth. As Jesus taught us throughout his life and his ministry, the truth of his Father is carried out by way of a life anchored in simplicity, modesty, tranquility and humble-heartedness.

Today the Church recognizes two of its great Martyrs, Saint Pope Cornelius and Saint Cyprian, a Bishop of our Church. These men were executed in defense of the truth. The one truth. God’s truth. If the truth were relative as many today would have you believe, these men died in vain, for personal reasons, for that which was too sublime. We know that wasn’t the case.

Those of you who pray the Breviary, otherwise known as the “Liturgy if the Hours,” may have noticed that the hymn chosen for this Feast Day references the virtue of tranquility. The verse is as follows:

“Brave men and women too, suffered for love of you; No sound or murmuring broke from their tortured lips, Their souls’ tranquility, joyful in its fortitude. Could bear such anguish patiently.”
Seek simplicity in your life so that you May remained focused on this which is important.

That which is eternal.


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