Scripture Reading: John 14:1

During his life on earth, Padre Pio was most associated with this motto: “Pray, hope, and don’t worry!” In truth we are living in a challenging time, and worry about many things.  We may worry about our relationships, retirement, our children, or our individual workplaces.  Perhaps we cling to worries of the past, or are anxious about the future. We worry over our health issues, having suitable life partners, troubled marriage, fruit of the womb and so many other things! It is now widely known that chronic and excessive worry can negatively impact the body leading to high anxiety, high blood pressure and higher risk of serious diseases.  While it is unrealistic to eliminate stress and worry entirely from our lives, wouldn’t it be far more beneficial to dramatically reduce our worries and instead, like the Saints, increase our prayer and trust in God to the point of resting in his love and care for us? American humorist Erma Bombeck once wrote that “Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere!” No wonder St Paul advised thus:”Do not worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.”

The secret to peace of mind is let your heart be kept with full trust in God. Faith in God is the secret to peace of mind. Padre Pio noted that, “Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer!” With unwavering faith in God’s providence, St. Pio never hesitated to abandon his past, present and future into God’s hands saying, “My past, O Lord, to Your mercy; my present, to Your love; my future to Your providence.”, “When you notice that your heart is moving away even the tiniest bit from that inner peace that comes from the living faith-experience of the divine presence in the soul, stop and examine what the cause of this anxiety might be. Maybe it is some worry concerning your house or children, or some situation you cannot change at present. Bury it in God’s loving will. The saints recognized this and with prayerful perseverance, abandoned their cares and entire selves to Christ, knowing that nothing happens without the Lord’s knowledge and permission.  According to physicians at Mayo Clinic, more positive thinking and less worrying can increase your life span, promote better psychological and physical well-being and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.  On a spiritual level, like the saints, let us refocus our hearts, minds and souls on our Divine Savior amid the worries and anxieties of our day, trusting that his providence and grace is sufficient for all our needs.

Let us end this reflection with the words of St. Paul of the Cross, “Stop listening to your fears! God is your guide and your Father, Teacher, and Spouse. Abandon yourself into the divine bosom of His most holy good pleasure. Keep up your spiritual exercises and be faithful in prayer.”

Prayer Points:

  1. Thank God for today’s reflection.
  2. Ask for mercy for the times you have allow fear to override your faith.
  3. FORTIFY me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit and give Your peace to my soul that I may be free from all needless anxiety, fear and worry in the name of Jesus.
  4. Lord Jesus, so often I have let my worries and concerns overwhelm me. I worry for myself, for my family, for my friends, for my finances, for so many things. Yet, all of that worry doesn’t seem to do any good. Teach me to trust again. Fill me with hope and calm the anxieties of my heart. Let me truly believe that no matter what happens, it will be all right, because You will be there with me. In Your holy name I pray. Amen
  5. Take the prayer of St. Ignatius.

Exercise: Make a conscious effort to prayerfully bring all of your worries to Jesus and have faith in God’s will.

Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.