Like everyone else these days, you’re probably inundated with emails telling you what to do, how to protect yourself, a true cacophony of voices that it’s hard to sort through. But there are three voices we’d like you to listen to, today, three voices that can perhaps help lessen your anxiety and give you confidence that God is with you. Here’s just a few words from each of them; go and explore more if you feel they’re speaking to you.
- Meet Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Priest, spiritual director, and a voice of reassurance. “When I have done all in my power or which I felt before God I ought to do, I leave the rest to him, abandoning everything entirely and with my whole heart to Divine Providence, blessing him beforehand for all things and wishing in all and above all that his holy will be done. I am convinced by faith and by numerous personal experiences that all comes from God, and that he is so powerful and such a good Father that he will cause everything to prosper for the advantage of his dear children. Has he not proved that he loves us more than life itself…?”
- Meet John of the Cross. Carmelite mystic, and a Doctor of the Church. “People, then, should live with great patience and constancy in all the tribulations and trials God places on them, whether they be exterior or interior, spiritual or bodily, great or small, and they should accept them all as from God’s hand as a good remedy and not flee from them, for they bring health. The combat of trials, distress, and temptations deadens the evil and imperfect habits of the soul and purifies and strengthens it. People should hold in esteem the interior and exterior trials God sends them, realizing that there are few who merit to be brought to perfection through suffering and to undergo trials for the sake of so high a state.”
- Meet Teresa of Avila. Another Carmelite mystic. Perhaps their time has come! “It wouldn’t be bad when at times you wake up with those impulses of love of God to sit up in bed for a while; always being careful though that you get the sleep your head needs (for unawares you could end up incapable of prayer). And be careful and try not to suffer much cold, for the cold is not good for the pains in your side. I don’t know why you want those terrors and fears, for God is leading you by love. They were necessary back then. Don’t think it is always the devil who impedes prayer, for God in his mercy sometimes takes it away.”
We don’t ever have to go through trials or difficulties alone, though these days with churches shuttered and social distancing in practice, it may feel that way. We have a host of people who have been through trials as well and have triumphed. It is time to turn to them