26 May 2020
When I'm feeling agitated, disturbed or anxious I tend to turn to a bookmark I have made with the words of a poem by St. Theresa of Avila
Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away: God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things, If you have God you will want for nothing;
God alone suffices.
This morning the introductory music for the 'Pray as you go' prayer time was this poem set to music by Margaret Rizza
(well worth listening to)
The words are slightly different, put in more modern language, but beautiful
Let nothing disturb you, nothing distress you.
While all things fade away, God is unchanging.
Be patient, for with God in your heart,
nothing is lacking.
God is enough.
Worry, and even fear, is a normal human response.
It is a part of all our lives - perhaps more so in some people than others - but everyone has to deal with worry and fear at some time.
The fear of the Corvid 19 epidemic has caused us to self-isolate;
fear that the hospitals will be overwhelmed and not be able to cope;
but they have, magnificently.
Even though the restrictions are easing there are many who are preferring to stay in their homes, worried about infection.
Parents fear for the safety of their children, with so many reports in the news, of people who would want to harm them.
We fear the gang culture in big towns and cities.
People living in the Middle East live in constant fear of another bomb blast or being caught in crossfire.
Daily living produces worry and fears; so what can we do when fear grips our hearts?
We can learn to trust God; to get to know what kind of God we have. He is gracious, loving and faithful.
We don't deserve it but he loves us and will always stand by us.
We can get to know God's promises and trust that he will stick by what he says.
Memorise and trust words like:
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1,2).
"I (Jesus) will be with you always, even to the end of the world.' (Matthew 28:20)
Often there are too many times when our strength fails;
when even the texts of promise that we have learnt off by heart will do little to ease our anxiety.
When our strength, our mind, our skills are of no particular use we just have to relax and wait patiently,
trusting in the God who knows all of our needs and is willing to use his power to help us.
The Holy Spirit reminds us - when fear is near, God is even closer.
When fears and worries create tension and upset our lives, Jesus promises
'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.' John14:27