who does not worry? of course worry is on a continuum: some folks worry all the time and it can consume them; others rarely worry. most of us fall somewhere in between these extremes. and there is an endless list of what can worry us: health, money, the future, work, what others think of me, the well-being of others, death, things out of our control, things under our control, choices of family members. you can add your own personal worry themes to this short list.
what offsets worry? in faith, one of the graces given that minimizes worry is the peace of God. here is part of today’s second reading from mass:
There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6
prayer changes the person that prays. to acknowledge our needs in prayer can temper our anxiety. when this prayer is coupled with thanksgiving, we can receive the grace of peace: the gift of peace given through the Spirit guards our hearts and thoughts.
it seems that our ability to be thankful to God affects our openness to receive peace in our hearts. seeing gifts in our lives helps us trust in God’s providential care-love.
the scripture also says that this peace is greater than what we can understand. why? God is more than we can understand. and the pure graciousness of the gift of love-peace is beyond the conditions that often constrain our limited and conditional minds. grace and unconditional love are gifts.
how are our hearts and minds stained by worry? what do we really need in light of these concerns? can i be thankful even in the midst of serious worries? do i really trust in God’s providential care that calms my heart and mind? what do i have to pray for at this time in my life to receive God’s grace of shalom?
may our desire to be one with Love bring us the peace that God wills for us as gift. may Jesus Christ continue to be our prince of peace. and may this graces help and guide us in sharing shalom with others: blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons and daughters of God. (matthew 5: 9)
There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honour, and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise. Keep doing all the things that you learnt from me and have been taught by me and have heard or seen that I do. Then the God of peace will be with you Philippians 4: 6-9