peace be with you

Email presents a challenge. For me, at least, the decision about how to sign off became perplexing. To say ‘best’ or ‘best wishes’…nope, that’s not me. ‘Yours faithfully’–much more authentic, but rather formal. (I use it occasionally.) ‘Cheers’ makes me sound like I want to be British. I love Britain and my British husband, and all my lovely dual-citizen children. But I am an American, like it or not, and I’m not pretending to be otherwise. ‘Warm regards’ or ‘warmly’ does convey the sense of ‘I like you, and I am sending this email fondly’, though ‘fondly’ sounds creepy and won’t do at all. For fellow Christians, ‘yours in Christ’ might be a possibility. It works for plenty of other folks. But, again, it’s just not me.

For a long time I resisted ‘peace’. It’s over-used, and misused. Maybe it’s a bit cold or distant, or seems so. It shouldn’t. Ephesians 2 reminds us that ‘he is our peace.’ Not only that: peace is what I long for, my highest aspiration for myself and the world in which I live. ‘Be at peace with everyone,’ St Paul admonishes us. The most under-appreciated part of the Mass–or at least a contender–is the sharing of the peace. When we share peace, we share Christ. He is our peace. He is the one who brings peace, and when we live in him and he in us, we find peace. Our restless hearts are restless until we rest–peacefully–in him. And so I sign, ‘peace.’ It is the best thing I can wish for anyone to whom I am sending an email. It is a prayer for those email recipients who do not know Christ, and a prayer for this who do. I mean by it always, ‘peace be with you,’ and I could not say anything more sincerely or warmly.

Peace be with you.

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