In today’s second Mass reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Paul gives us advice that is at one and the same times simple and incredibly difficult to follow:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And parts of it are. The thanksgiving part comes easy to me – I know how blessed I am and how much I have to be grateful for. And I have no hesitations about bringing my requests to God.
But the “Have no anxiety part” is not all that easy. We get anxious about so many things, some little and some that seem so huge. All sorts of things arise that disturb our peace.
And in those moments when I feel anxious, I recognize the need to grow my faith and trust. I understand the plea of the father who begged Jesus, “I do believe. Help my unbelief.” And I pray that “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard” my heart and mind.