One of the things that can steal our peace is worry about the future. Oftentimes, when we are overcome with worry, we lose perspective. Sometimes, we even lose hope. Over 400 years ago, St. Francis de Sales offered some timeless words of wisdom about worry:
Be at peace. Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; rather look to them with full hope as they arise. God, whose very own you are, will deliver you from out of them. He has kept you hitherto, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will bury you in his arms. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you then and everyday. He will either shield you from suffering, or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.
When I am really worried about things, I try to remember St. Francis’ soothing words.
It seems that the days of eloquent letter-writing and moving oratory have largely passed. And, with the passing of these times, the immense power of words has been forgotten. Civility has gone out the window. Hurtful words are thrown around carelessly – often aided by the anonymity of the internet. Thomas Merton, one of my favorite gurus, offers some timeless wisdom on the power of words.
Speak words of hope. Be human in this most inhuman of ages. Guard the image of man for it is the image of God.
Every time we open our mouths or type out our thoughts, we have the power to spread hope – or not.
Let’s choose hope.
Start today – with even just one person. Ask God to lead you to the person and give you the words of encouragement that this person needs to hear. Maybe it’s a family member, friend, or stranger – be open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in finding that person and speaking the uplifting words they need to hear.
Photo Credit: CBF Portal Files
Sometimes, things don’t work out quite like we had hoped or expected. St. Teresa of Avila has some really great thoughts for times like these:
“To reach something good, it is useful to have gone astray.”
I love this sentiment! How often do we think of “going astray” as being useful? The temptation is to think of these times as “mistakes” or a “waste of time,” but she knew from experience that God works all things for our good – even the times when we think we screwed up!
“God created shadows to better emphasize the light.” – St. John XXIII
Did you see the solar eclipse this summer? During the eclipse, the light shone out from behind objects as crescent shadows. While the divisions between light are darkness are rarely ever sharper than they were during the eclipse, divisions between people were momentarily suspended during it. Strangers came together in fields, streets, sidewalks, and city blocks to admire the phenomenon with wonder and joy.
I am so pained by the vilification of all refugees based on the actions of a few. Pope Francis, nearly daily, calls us to respond with compassion to those on the margins – in the world, in our communities and in our lives. Please check out my post on Loyola Press’ dotMagis blog this month:
Want to delve deeper with this question? Check out my post on the dotMagis blog this month!
Thank you for your feedback and for asking where I’ve gone!
Things got really busy in September of last year and haven’t slowed down yet! So, I’ve only been able to get a blog a month out. Until I have time to write more here, you can find my monthly blogs on the dotMagis blog of Loyola Press.
My latest blog is out today and can be found here:
Older blogs can be found at: