This past Sunday, our beloved Father Pat Egan shared some great thoughts on worrying, and I got to thinking, what DO I worry about? I had never really thought about that. I consider myself a relatively carefree person……And I the more I thought about it, the siller I began to feel……… My gracious, I worry about EVERYTHING….
How long will we live in this house? Why isn’t our house a little bit bigger?Will my husband and I stay healthy enough to be happy enough to love each other forever? When will my children begin to see my flaws and start to rebel? How long will we homeschool? Do I have rice to make jambalaya for dinner tonight? Why do the children’s feet keep growing? How about the legs? Why are their legs getting so long? How will I ever find long enough pants?! Shouldn’t all the kids be studying music? What about the one who thinks she isn’t special? How can I make them all feel loved? DO I have enough love? When will it stop snowing? Is it always going to be so COLD? When will it be spring? I really wish we could have a big garden….Why can’t I have a HUGE garden? Will I ever get to go back to school? What about the future? What about my dream to be a midwife? Will anything ever change?
There is no end to the worry. It starts the moment I wake up, and sometimes lasts the whole day long, or even until I am in bed at night. It may not be L O U D worrying, just in the back cabinets of my mind I have a few sticky notes dangling there, worry waiting to be noticed. Other times the worry is like a brightly colored banner draped across the main doorway of my consciousness.
“Y O U S H O U L D B E C O N C E R N E D!”
‘Thanks for finally admitting to being an anxious freak’, I thought to myself, and I have been reading Sunday’s gospel ever since, to reassure myself that God really truly does want me to be carefree, and trust in him. In case you didn’t catch it, or in case you need to hear it again:
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.[a]
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?[b] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.
I found the reflection on this very helpful, I saw it on the Laudate App on my IPhone. There is a fella named Don Schwager who writes wonderful reflections. Here, he talks about the root word of anxiety literally meaning “being of two minds.” Good food for thought. I want to be of one mind, serving only God, not mammon, or material wealth or riches, or whatever tends to control our appetites and desires.
Do you have an app that you love to use, to bring you into the Spirit of the Lord? Laudate is very good, for many uses. You can read the daily readings with your children over breakfast, get a brief story to share about the Saint of the Day at Lunch, and pray a Chaplet or Rosary with the crew in the car. We love the Confession button, which runs through an examination of conscience, and yes, they have one particularly for the children, and they even have a Catholic Media portion that directs you to 12 different websites that will feed your soul while flipping the laundry. Highly recommended.
This Lent, I am trying to fill my mind and heart full of things other than worry. I am “GIVING UP” anxiety. I am attempting to make the silent moments where worry creeps in, into times for contemplation on the Word, singing songs and hymns of Jesus’ love for me, and reading comforting passages, messages, and biographies of the Saints who somehow kept their faith strong despite many unfavorable conditions. I will draw strength from them, and I will let go of any negative thoughts that Satan loves to toss at me, I rebuke him and all who work with him, and I ask Jesus, the Lord and Giver of Life to replace my worries with honest joy.
Jesus, fill me with the Joy of Life. Penetrate my heart with happiness, and Lord, when I struggle, don’t allow me to wallow for long, pull me out of the muck and show me the many good things I have to be thankful for. Exchange the worry with rejoicing! Thank you, Lord. I trust in You alone.