Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Wk 8: "do not worry"

Anxiety is born of materialism and obsession with money.

"The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods. 'Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.' Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow. Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God." (CCC 2547)

We do need to eat and the protection of clothing and shelter, but we are more than these. When we become mired in concern for earthly wants our deepest needs, for spiritual realities, for God, are unmet and we become unhappy. The answer for those who crave peace is to hand themselves over to the Father in total trust as does Christ.

" 'Our bread': The Father who gives us life cannot not but give us the nourishment life requires - all appropriate goods and blessings, both material and spiritual. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus insists on the filial trust that cooperates with our Father's providence. He is not inviting us to idleness, but wants to relieve us from nagging worry and preoccupation. Such is the filial surrender of the children of God:

"To those who seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he has promised to give all else besides. Since everything indeed belongs to God, he who possesses God wants for nothing, if he himself is not found wanting before God." (CCC 2830)
The power of Faith is experienced in the strength to refuse worldly preoccupations that feed doubts which corrode our faith.

"The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith: Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness." (CCC 2088)

To be strong in Faith is to reject the sources of anxiety that leave us vulnerable to the wiles of the evil One.

"When we ask to be delivered from the Evil One, we pray as well to be freed from all evils, present, past, and future, of which he is the author or instigator. In this final petition, the Church brings before the Father all the distress of the world. Along with deliverance from the evils that overwhelm humanity, she implores the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance in expectation of Christ's return By praying in this way, she anticipates in humility of faith the gathering together of everyone and everything in him who has 'the keys of Death and Hades,' who 'is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'

"Deliver us, Lord, we beseech you, from every evil and grant us peace in our day, so that aided by your mercy we might be ever free from sin and protected from all anxiety, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ." (CCC 2854)
Art: Hildesheim Cathedral, Christussäule: The miraculous feeding of the multitude, ca. 1020.

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