I worry a lot. I worry about myself and my family. People sometimes tell me that I worry far too much. I can’t help it.
As a child, I was trained to be responsible and was held accountable by my parents. Now that I am married, have a husband and children of my own, my worrying has increased – like so many others, our finances are often not enough anymore to cover all we need.
When I pray, I tell God that I love Him and know that He is taking care of us, and that I trust Him, but that never seems to take away my worrying. Is there anything you know of that could help me with this?
First of all, thank you for your heartfelt question. I’ve often thought of this also. Is worrying something inherited, like from the genes, or learned from the environment we grow up in, or what? Over the years, I’ve come to discover that worrying is alright in small doses, occasionally, but is absolutely no good, in any way, as a constant companion over the long haul.
Constant worry is like a little worm inside an apple. You can’t see the worm; you only see the apple. Yet, it is in there wrecking havoc on the sweet, delicious pulp. It renders the apple rotten, and if it is not taken care of by eliminating it, then it continues to eat away at all the apples in the same barrel, doesn’t it.
I’d like to share with you a quote that has helped me. It is from the Christian evangelist, Corrie Ten Boom. It has helped me personally. She writes, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
I would also like to share a letter from our Mother Luisita, foundress of our community. I hope and pray that it will help you as it has helped so many other people. Mother Luisita is not a person who wrote extensively. She did not write books and articles. She only wrote letters and they had to be in code, because of the religious persecution in Mexico in the early part of the 20th century. The following letter has been decoded. May it bring you peace and topics for you to think and pray about.
Mother Luisita wrote the following during that time.
Trusting in God’s Providence
A letter from Mother Luisita (de-coded)
My beloved child,
How good our God is, always watching over His children!
We should rest entirely in His hands, understanding that His eyes are always upon us, that He will see to it that we lack nothing and grant us anything that we need, if it is for our own good. Let Our Lord do with you whatever He wants. Let Him mold your soul in whatever way is pleasing to Him. Try to be at peace within your soul, freeing yourself from fear and worry and allowing yourself to be guided by your spiritual director.
With all my heart, I am praying for this intention for you that God will grant your soul many blessings. This is my greatest desire for you – that these blessings, like the valuable rain, will help the seeds of those virtues most pleasing to of God our Lord to germinate within your soul, embellishing it with virtue. Let us rid ourselves of those tinsel-like virtues that shine but at the least touch fall apart. Our holy Mother St. Teresa taught us to be as strong as oak trees, not like straw that is always knocked down by the wind. I have as much concern for your soul as I do for my own (I think I am saying too much), but it is a reality – I am deeply concerned in an extraordinary way for you.
My child, try to see all things as coming from God. Receive everything that happens with serenity. Humble yourself, asking Him to do everything for you and continue working with tranquility for the good of your own soul which is the most urgent thing for you to do. Look to God, your soul, and eternity, and for all the rest, do not preoccupy yourself.
For greater things you were born.
God will provide for all of our needs. Let us trust that we will receive all from Him who loves us so much and is always watching over us!
As you try to see all things as coming from the hand of God, adore His designs. I would like to see you have more trust in Divine Providence. Otherwise, you will be suffering many disappointments and your projects will meet with failure. Trust, my child, only in God. Everything human is changeable and the one who is for you today will be against you tomorrow. You see how good our God is! We should have more confidence in Him every day and have recourse to prayer, not permitting anything to discourage us or make us sad. He has given me so much confidence in His Divine Will that I leave everything in His hands and I am at peace.
My beloved child, let us praise God in everything because all that happens is for our own good. Try to fulfill your duties the best you can and for God alone and always remain happy and serene in all the tribulations of life. As for me, I have placed all in the hands of God and I have been successful. We have to learn to detach ourselves a little, trust in God alone, and do God’s holy will with joy. How beautiful it is to be in the Hands of God, searching His Divine Gaze in readiness to do whatever He wishes.
Good-bye, my child, and receive a loving embrace from your mother who wishes to see you.
You can find more of Mother Luisita’s letters of spiritual direction (which can be printed) at: http://www.carmelitesistersocd.com/writings/.
Thank you for your question and until next time,
Sister Laus Gloriae, O.C.D.
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Alhambra, California 91801