“Do not worry about anything.” That’s the good news today taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Worrying about what we can’t control is useless and ultimately harmful. We know that medical science has closely tied worry to heart trouble, blood pressure problems, ulcers, thyroid malfunction, migraine headaches, and a host of stomach disorders, amongst others. The bottom line is: worry and anxiety are not good for us—not good for our bodies, not good for our spirits.
Corrie Ten Boom spoke of the unravelling effects of worry, when she said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength.” When St. Paul tells us not to worry about anything, he doesn’t just stop there. He also tells us that we should pray for what we need, and do it with thanksgiving in our hearts. He wants us to ask for what we need but to be thankful at the same time. Some people say that we should thank the Lord ahead of time for the favors for which we are asking. For example, if I’m praying that I pass an examination, I should thank the Lord for my passing mark even before I receive it. I’m not sure this is what St. Paul is talking about, but it seems a bit presumptuous to assume that God is going to give us exactly what we ask for.
Perhaps St. Paul is reminding us that we need to have a grateful spirit in our lives and in our prayer because he tells us that the result of our prayer will be the gift of peace—a peace which surpasses understanding. If we receive the peace of God, then it follows that we won’t worry about anything. Having God’s peace in our hearts means knowing that all is well in the universe because God is holding all things in safety. As someone has so wisely said: “Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.”
“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing that you are a child of God. Let this presence settle in your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us” (St. Therese of Lisieux, 1873-1897). Pray for one another, especially the Rosary….pray for our parish….and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to my homily at Mass this morning: (Posted after Mass.)
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish