There…I feel better now!
As someone who has a public presence defending and educating others about the teachings of the Catholic Church, I’m sometimes tempted to gloss over some of the less desirable elements of my personality. When I see this happening, I usually take a step back and remind myself that hiding my imperfections wouldn’t be fair to my readers/listeners.
One of my biggest weaknesses has always been my tendency to worry. When I was a child I worried that one or both of my parents would die, when I was a teenager I worried that I’d never have a girlfriend, when I was in my 20′s I suffered panic attacks and feared that I would end up having a heart attack, in my 30′s and 40′s I worried that I’d lose my job. Now that I’m in my 50′s (barely ), I’d like to inform you that I’ve finally learned to trust completely in God’s Will and that I’ve finally stopped worrying. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that because…
IT’S NOT THE TRUTH!
The ugly reality is that, despite knowing that God’s Will is perfect and that anything He allows to happen in my life is best for my eternal salvation, I’m afraid to suffer! People worry about many different things – jobs, finances, health, addiction…My major area of worry is my family. I worry that something will happen to them, physically or emotionally and it often renders me paralyzed. I usually have to fight off the desire to worry about them several times a day. And guess what? Satan knows all about my weakness and he makes use of it every chance he gets! The devil doesn’t want me to be happy and he is thrilled when he convinces me to reject the peace granted to me by Jesus. Although the Lord’s peace is available in all situations, good and bad, it doesn’t help me if I don’t accept it!
Similar to alcoholism, chronic worrying is not curable, but it is controllable. I’ve learned to control my “condition” with frequent prayer, reading the Bible, and reception of the Sacraments. Some people will read this post and think, “Boy, that Gary’s a real nut and a hypocrite!” Others will look at it and feel better because they’re not the only one who is struggling with worry. The bottom line is that I’m human and, if I had a choice, I’d rather take the “easy way out”. By admitting my weakness, I acknowledge that I can’t stop worrying on my own. However, through the graces received from prayer, Scripture and the Sacraments, the Lord helps me to trust Him.
Worry is useless and Jesus warns against worrying numerous times in the Bible. However, He knows that we are weak and we can’t conquer it by ourselves. He wants to help us, but we have to ask for and accept His help. If you’re a worrier like me, take it one day at a time and always remember this simple formula:
Prayer, Scripture and the Sacraments…repeat as needed!