Aleteia

How to keep from worrying too much

XAVIER
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If you have difficulty with worrying about everything, take the advice of a holy priest.

It is relatively easy to worry, especially when you take a look at the news. Every day something happens that can bring us added anxiety.

However, Jesus would often say to his disciples, “Do not worry about your life” (Matthew 6:25).

How can we avoid worrying?

Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance, in his early 20th century book My Prayer Book, explains that Catholics should always be the ones who do not worry.

[F]or there can be no doubt that the best “don’t worry club” in the world is the Catholic Church, because she directs her members to lead a pure and holy life, to do their duty, to rejoice in the Lord always, and to preserve their peace of soul by a simple, childlike confidence in the providence of Our Father in heaven.

That is more easily said than done, yet Fr. Lasance goes on to explain the key to this attitude.

St. Francis de Sales, knowing that all the accidents of life, without exception, happen by the order of Providence, reposed in Him with the greatest tranquility, like a child on the bosom of its mother. This gentle saint was filled with so great a confidence in God that in the midst of the greatest disasters nothing could disturb the peace of his soul. “I can not but be persuaded,” he often said, “that he who believes in an infinite Providence, which extends even to the lowest worm, must expect good from all that happens to him.”

The ability to not worry is based entirely on a trusting abandonment to God’s providence. It means we trust that God has our ultimate good in mind and that even in the worst of sufferings, he has good in store for us.

In the same spirit, St. Vincent de Paul exhorts us: “Let us place our confidence in God and establish ourselves in an entire dependence on Him. Then fear not what men may say or do against us, all will turn to our advantage. Yes, if all the earth should rise up against us, nothing will happen but as God pleases, in whom we have established our hopes.”

This trusting attitude in God was a common theme among all the saints, especially St. Francis of Assisi.

“Happy is the man,” says the dear St. Francis of Assisi, “who does not worry, nor grieve himself, about anything in this world, but leads a holy life, without any inordinate attachment, and abandons himself cheerfully to the will of God.

If you want to reduce your worry in the world, place your trust in God, not in any human power this world has to offer. We can’t place our ultimate trust in health, political officials, or anyone else in leadership.

What we can do is trust God.

 

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