Anxiety

Lent 6 ~ The Seas are Stilled

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Troparion

Heavenly King, Consoler Spirit, Spirit of Truth, present everywhere and filling all things, treasure of all good and source of all life, come dwell in us, cleanse and save us, you who are All-Good.

          This is my prayer for today. As I reach for it, I become aware of waves of anxiety coursing through me. Today, I number among thousands in my country who await a court ruling which will determine the next course of our lives. Whether a decision will be made today or not, today is nonetheless a significant marker in our professional journey.

          The waves rise higher within me.

Heavenly King

Consoler Spirit

Spirit of Truth

          I turn and face the waves. Lord, I pray, if these are from satan, take them away. But if they are wounds which I must bear, touch each one…

          The words of my prayer have barely formed when I immediately sense the waves curl into mist and disappear.

          And the seas within me still.

I Will Act

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          Sometimes, even the brightest days can be troubled by ribbons of cold winds. Something just didn’t like seeing me skipping about, and so it brought me a troubling update on my job, to dampen my happiness. I stood still for a bit as I took in the news. It was as real as bad news can be and it was draining away the last vestiges of hope. Then, I made up my mind: It was the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. In honour of Her, despite the news, I decided to make that little leap of faith and willfully choose to cling to Our Lady’s hand. Mother, I prayed, help me trust in Jesus. I returned to my day, brightened again.

          Some hours later, those cold slivers made another attempt to unsettle me. Feeling their presence, I didn’t want to pretend I wasn’t a little anxious. I didn’t want to pretend to be strong. I wanted to be honest with Jesus. And so, I prayed once more. Lord, give me a sign. I am worried and afraid – but I don’t wish to be. Help to me get on with life. Then, I turned to Mother Mary once more. Keep me close to Jesus, Mother. I think I was/am tired of being afraid, of being spooked. There comes a time in every Christian’s life when we realize that the way to really live is to trust fully in Jesus, and I might have finally arrived at this point of realization and of wanting it for myself. Trusting doesn’t suddenly make merry our walk through life. There will still be valleys to traverse and tears to shed. But for me at least, to trust fully might mean a lot less of the inner wobbling I fall victim to so often.

The wavering in trust, as Jesus called it.

          And the minute I made this decision to trust, Jesus answered my prayer for a sign for the way ahead, but in His way. He sent me His beloved emissary, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque,

          I must no longer concern myself about anything it may please my Sovereign Master to do with me and in me; He has told me He will cease to take care of me only when I am preoccupied with self. I have experienced this many times through my infidelity, the outcome of which was the thwarting of my wishes. But I no longer have any desire but to do what He has told me many a time: “Leave it to Me to act.” 

          When I heard Jesus’ words in my spirit, I was infused with a soft yet strong desire to not be a hindrance to my Lord’s work in any way. Jesus wanted me to stop looking over my shoulder and He had shown me the way to do it:

 

Beloved:
Let no one have contempt for your youth,
but set an example for those who believe,
in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching.
Do not neglect the gift you have,
which was conferred on you through the prophetic word
with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate.
Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them,
so that your progress may be evident to everyone.
Attend to yourself and to your teaching;
persevere in both tasks,
for by doing so you will save 
both yourself and those who listen to you.   ~   1 Timothy 4: 12 – 16

 

          My fears about our future were being fed by the attention I was giving them. And every time I fed my fear, even a little, I took my eyes off Jesus. But the Jesus who knew me so well also understood that I could not simply force myself to stop fearing; I needed to be focused on something instead. So, He exhorted me to be absorbed in my job and in my studies.

          I immersed myself immediately in both calls. Soon, I could feel the shadows retreat and joy bubbled within me once more.

          As I worked and rested in the deeps of joy, the angels came by to gently lay His promise upon my heart once more.

I will act.

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