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Facing Anxiety as People of Faith

downloadQuestion

How might one who is living a very anxious and fearful life learn to trust in God?  I am always worried about what is coming next instead of finding joy in the many blessings and consolations of the present.

Response

First, I think there are personality types that are more prone to anxiety. Are introspective introverts more susceptible… maybe, I am not sure. It may that some will always deal with such feelings. Second, I think a prayerful abandonment to divine providence may be helpful. We have to trust that whatever comes, God will not abandon us. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of smooth sailing in life. We will face hardships, suffering, betrayal, sickness and dying. Can we trust the Lord in both the bad times and the good times? I suspect that is where we find the test of faith.

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2 Responses

  1. I am an introspective introvert with autoimmune illness. I am prone to anxiousness over coming events, and yet my mother taught me at a young age that happiness is a choice. I have always had a positive outlook on life, but still as I converted to Catholicism (and faced the challenges of knowing exactly what was expected of me by the Church and especially knowing what to confess and how to receive guidance from priests) I found myself very troubled. (There is another story here.) After working through a couple of troubling and sinful habits with the guidance of a priest, a different priest told me to “worry less” as a part of my penance. At first I simply chose a couple of easy situations, prayed about them, and gave the worry to the Lord. That fulfilled my obligation to complete my penance. But it wasn’t enough. Scripture tells us to “have no anxiety at all” (Phil. 4:6) , so it must be possible with enough faith; I needed to treat worry as a bad habit and break it. It is a sound educational principle that success leads to more success. The less I worry the easier it is not to worry. Of course, I can always fall back. That’s where I am today: working on giving my worries and cares to the Lord and trusting in His mercy and grace. And yet I know I will live with my insides shaking and other physical unpleasant happenings due to my temperament and physical condition and must deal with them as they come. Prayer helps more than anything, when I feel anxious (especially with social anxiety) . Often I begin, “Lord, calm Your child.” In His grace, He does.

  2. There is no answer to this. There are those born into happy lives.
    There are those born into terrible suffering. The problem of evil and suffering has been tackled by many greater minds than mine. It is not been answered to my satisfaction. Only God knows.

    FATHER JOE: The oblation of Christ on the Cross is the ultimate act of satisfaction for suffering, sin and death. Would you reject the faith?

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