I suffer from anxiety, can you help me?

Ask a Carmelite Sister

Dear Sister,

I suffer from anxiety.  Do you know of any remedy that could help me? I want so much to be rid of this affliction. Thank you and I enjoy reading your letters on Integrated Catholic Life.

Dear Friend

Anxiety is an affliction, indeed.  We all are anxious at times, but when the anxiety is constant, the affliction can become unbearable. Our foundress, Mother Luisita, while undergoing religious persecution in Mexico, saw her friends dragged off, killed, tortured, you name it.  In the midst of all of that she gave spiritual direction to her sisters and others.

I’d like to share with you a letter written during those horrible times about worry and anxiety. Perhaps a line will help you.  She used to tell people suffering from anxiety and other things to close their eyes and pray…

“My God within me, I adore you.”
“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I place my trust in thee.”

Anxiety and Worry
A letter from Mother Luisita

My dear child,

So, you have had some days of anguish? Let’s bless Our Lord in all and for all and let’s have our eyes fixed on Him, our Hope and our Love. Thus, we will go through the ups and downs of life with all tranquility. This life changes as readily as the moon does. Sorrow precedes joy, fear precedes conviction, weakness precedes strength and all redounds to the welfare of those who love God. Try to be happy wherever God places you and under any circumstances. Always be attentive to His will and make His will your own. Otherwise, you will never be happy. We are always wanting what we don’t have. Truly, we can become a calamity to ourselves.

When we have a great need for money, we must say, “Blessed be God for sending us so many trials.” We must bless Our Lord whether we are in prosperity or in suffering, for these blend together in life. His divine Majesty will provide. We have to pray, pray much! Yes, God our Lord will take care of everything. Living these many years has taught me what God’s providence can do, and believe me, nothing affects or frightens me because experience has made me see that He is always there watching us very closely and helping us in everything.

Be at peace. All of us have difficulties of some kind or other in this life, and as the Imitation of Christ says, “If you look up or you look down, you’ll find the cross everywhere.” A short period of prayer before Our Lord alleviates our sorrows no matter how big they seem to be, and after being with Our Lord they don’t look so big anymore.

Don’t worry. God will provide. That’s the way it goes ups and downs, and as far as I’m concerned we should be as immovable rocks so that when the waves do come, they will wash over us, taking with them all the dirt that was on us. Try to see the difficulties of life with serenity. Then you will be able to see the solution more clearly because if you get perturbed or angry, or worry too much, all of that can blind the person and then errors can be made.

Finally, pray very much to God for your family and then try not to worry. Worrying so much is not good at all. The devil uses our worries to harm us. Belong totally to God and place everyone in your family, all your relatives into His Divine Heart. Pray for them and expect everything from our good God, Who loves them more than you do. They are also His children, and He shed His precious blood for them.

My child, try to live at peace. Don’t let yourself be carried away by unrest within your soul, and be happy in whatever manner Our Lord wants you. Abandon yourself into His Divine Hands. Let us bless Our Lord for everything. He only allows what is best for us to happen. Let us go forward, good seamen, for our Love is waiting on the seashore.

Mother Luisita

You can find more of Mother Luisita’s letters of spiritual direction (which can be printed) at: http://www.carmelitesistersocd.com/Foundress/MothersHeart.asp.

I hope that is of help to you and until next time,

Sister Laus Gloriae, O.C.D.

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A Letter from Mother Luisita about Anxiety and Worry

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About the Author

Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life Among Families through Healthcare, Education and Retreats

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles strive to give striking witness as a vibrant, thriving community of dedicated women with an all-consuming mission. It is our God-given mission, a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service to the poor, the sick, the needy and the uneducated. Our loving service overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. We strive to reflect His life and hope and His promise to all that light has come into our world and darkness has not overcome it.

A look at the history of our community, with its motherhouse in Alhambra, California, reveals how its life-giving presence has come about. During the beginning decades of the 1900s just as the epic Mexican revolution was subsiding, a ruthless religious persecution was gaining momentum in Mexico. This horrible persecution accompanied the birth and humble beginnings of our community, a legacy that Mother Luisita, our foundress, and her two companions brought with them as religious refugees entering the Unites States in 1927.

Those seeds planted by Mother Luisita, now a candidate for sainthood, have taken deep root in the United States since those early days. People and places have changed throughout the years, yet the heart of our mission remains. As an autonomous religious institute since 1983 we continue to carry out our loving service in our healthcare facilities, retreat houses and schools which remain to this day centers of life and hope. Today we are moving forward together “Educating for Life with the Mind and Heart of Christ” in schools, being “At the Service of the Family for Life” through health and eldercare and “Fostering a Deeper Spiritual Life” through individual and group retreats. At the heart of our vocation is a passionate mission of loving service which facilitates our life-giving encounter with the living God.

The heritage of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the spirituality of Carmel, the Gospels, the Church, with our particular charism derived from our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its roots in a long history and living tradition. The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa's doctrine. Thus our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service to the Church.

Our ideal finds a living expression in the life and charism of our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whose spirit we faithfully preserve and foster.

Our life is characterized by: - A life of prayer and union with God - A deep love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist - Devotion to our Blessed Mother - Steadfast fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church - Praying for priests - Commitment to works of the apostolate in ecclesial service

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