Thursday, January 03, 2008


I once assisted at a mass where the priest, after saying the words: “protect us from all needless anxiety” made a comment to the effect that this statement was absurd, as he did not think that any anxiety was needful; all anxiety was pointless. Today provides two reminders of the anxiety that is needful:

From today’s DIVINE INTIMACY by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen O.C.D.

“You draw us all to You by grace, not by force, and this, only if we are willing to be drawn to You, that is, if our will does not rebel against Yours” (St. Catherine of Sienna)

From Psalm 81 from Morning Prayer of today’s Liturgy of the Hours:

But my people did not heed my voice
And Israel would not obey,
So I left them in their stubbornness of heart
To follow their own designs.
Let us be anxious, then, to conform our will to the Will of God. Abandoned by God to our own will, per Ps 81 above, is the consequence of the rebellion St. Catherine speaks of above, and it is the fear of this abandonment, a needful anxiety, of which is said:

The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding forever. (Ps 19:10)
The steps along the Way: one who does not believe in God, fears not His justice. When one first believes in God, one is overcome by the fear of His Justice. But as grace causes charity to grow, the new man puts aside the rebellion of his former ways, and assumes the easy yoke of Christ, aligning his life in accord with God’s Holy Will, this charity casts out the initial fear of Divine Justice, gradually replacing it with the holy fear that endures.

1 comment:

  1. The priest is certainly guilty of imprecision when he says all anxiety is needless; surely, he must have meant "worry," as in a distrust in God's mercy and providence. But to the extent he leaves the impression that we ought to avoid zeal and holy impatience to do the will of God, he ought to fix it.