Once St. John Bosco had a meeting with a minister named Farini, who wanted to close the school that St. John Bosco had founded. He went to make an appeal for mercy, but it was not an easy appeal since the minister was very angry with Don Bosco and his work.
When Don Bosco arrived at the office of this minister he had to wait since the arrogant minister wanted to make things difficult for him. However, Don Bosco rather than being nervous and afraid, was calm, so calm that he fell asleep on a very comfortable chair where he was waiting.
How could it be possible that he was able to sleep while he was waiting for a meeting where the future of his work was going to be discussed? Even more, the minister had already decided to close his school, so the purpose of the meeting was to ask for mercy from him, and yet he fell asleep.
The answer is that he had Jesus’ peace. The peace that Jesus gave to the apostles and to all His disciples, as we heard in today’s Gospel, is real peace and is, first and above all interior. In moral theology it is called “interior peace.” Those who are really disciples of Jesus are able to live in peace in the midst of life’s hardships. The questions is: what is Jesus’ peace and how can we receive it?
As St. Thomas Aquinas explains, Jesus’ peace is an effect of charity. There is no real peace without charity, since peace is to have all our faculties ordered to one object. In other words, this happens when one of my faculties, my will, has dominion over the other ones and is oriented towards God. So, for example, I want to fast because I promised God with my will to fast and yet my stomach wants to eat because I am hungry. If there is order within myself, I will fulfill my promises, but if there is not then my passion for food will make me break my promise.
Charity orders all our potencies or faculties to one object: God, since charity makes us love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength; to put love of God in the first place and subordinate all other desires to that love, in other words, to never do something against the love of God.
That is why Jesus’ peace is something interior and is a gift from God. It is much more than simple concord with other people, which something exterior. Even more, the exterior peace or concord will only be real when it comes from interior peace or Jesus’s peace. Don Bosco started the school because it was God’s Will and he would have been okay if he had to close it, if that was God’s Will. He was in God’s hands because his life was governed or directed by charity.