Sunday, March 27, 2011
Worry Free Living
While some people may pretend otherwise, worry free living is not about sitting in a lotus position and repeating ad nauseam your special, magical word. Neither is it about looking in the mirror and repeating over and over again positive thoughts, "I believe in me." Me, who is me? What then is worry free living?
Fr. Joseph Kentenich demonstrated worry free living when he looked into the jaws of death and said, "Yes, I will go to Dachau"--although he could have had a doctor's excuse to possibly not go. Do we realize the full impact of this decision? Dachau was a living hell, especially for an elderly, frail man.
How was he able to do this? He had a childlike confidence in his Heavenly Father that he would truly take care of him as "the apple of his eye." He believed in the depths of his being that God loved him and would protect him and that when his time would come, it would come--unshakable confidence in God's merciful and almighty love.
How can we develop this same unshakable, confidence in God? Especially when the world around us seems to be spinning out of control or our children seem to be in another world? Spend time with God. How often do we converse with God? Morning prayer, evening prayer, meditation, ejaculations. You can't know someone if you don't spend time with him. This means developing a prayer life. This means disciplining ourselves enough to read scripture, the saints, or spiritual reading, not just the news which is old tomorrow or romance novels which set up false notions of love and commitment.
Who is the saint I am most attracted to? Why? Do I develop the same attributes that he or she possesses? Do I have the smile of Mother Teresa of Calcutta? Do I have the exuberant energy of Bl. Damien of Molokai?
Do we shut out the noise of the world or do we enter into it? Is the radio, TV, or computer always on?
Spending time with our Heavenly Father can also be meditating on beautiful artwork, such as Carl Bloch's Denial of Peter or just sitting in front of the tabernacle.
I can choose to think about all the things I have done wrong in my life, or I can choose to be grateful for all the gifts God, who is rich in mercy, has given me.
I can see the person who doesn't agree with me as my enemy or I can see the person who doesn't agree with me as the face of Christ.
Do I live in the present or do I have a tape that repeats the past over and over again. If God has forgiven me for my past sins in confession, then do I forgive myself? Do I fear the future? If God has taken care of me, why do I doubt that he will continue to take care of me? St. Teresa of Avila said, "More tears are shed for answered prayers than unanswered ones." As the name of the '50s TV show says, "Father Knows Best." We can wring our hands in fear, but I love the title of the book by Harvey McKay. We Got Fired!: . . . And It's the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us. Do we believe that misfortune can be the best thing that happened to us? The book is not just about one person ,but many people who went on to become famous or successful in their field of enterprise.
Sometimes I think women are born with a worry gene. As Marie Bellet sings, "Mother, you are worried about many many things." Do we leave all our worries with the Blessed Mother and say, "Here, you take them. Give them to your Son." Transform them into something beautiful for God.
Whether I am experiencing great joy--the birth of a child--or incredible suffering--migraines or worse, if I am going to repeat any little phrases, it can be "God is good, or This too will pass, or Jesus, Mary, Joseph, pray for us," or any number of small ejaculations.
There is only one place that is truly free of all worry. Let us place all our cares in the Blessed Mother's hands as we journey through this valley of tears, so that we may lift up our hearts to our Heavenly Father and express perfect trust in his ultimate good for us, so that we may arrive in our Heavenly home for all eternity.
"We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).