When I was about eight years old, I was fond of a certain coat pin that looked like a fanciful purple creature with green spots. One day I asked my mom what the creature was called, and she, after thinking it over a moment, told me that it was a “worrywart.” I was familiar with the term, having heard it applied to everyone in my family. We were all “worrywarts,” habitual worriers who stressed over everything and nothing.
I have nine children of my own now, and most of them have inherited the worry gene. So when I had the opportunity to review Gary Zimak’s video entitled “Jesus, I Trust in You (Overcoming Anxiety with the Help of the Lord),” I jumped at it. Gary’s presentation is a jewel in the treasure trove that is the online Catholic Conference 4 Moms.
In his talk, Gary addresses what he calls the “very common problem” of choosing to worry instead of putting our trust in the Lord. He quotes the words of Our Lord to St. Faustina: "The greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and anxiety.”
Gary says that “God doesn’t want us to overcome anxiety on our own,” but instead, wants to help those who are willing to place their trust in Him. Learning to depend on God is the key to conquering anxiety. To that end, Gary shares what he calls the “Five P’s of Peace”:
Prepare - People in the Bible are always asked to do what they can do - whether it is to fill jars with water or provide some bread and fish - before Jesus miraculously assists them. We should put in our share of the effort and let God do the “heavy lifting.”
Present - God doesn’t give us the grace to deal with imaginary problems, but will always give us what we need to handle the troubles of the day. We should focus on what we can do today.
Pray - We should remember to “have a conversation with the Lord every day. He is our “best Friend.”
Participate - Sacraments and sacramentals “have been given to help us on the way” to heaven. We should often avail ourselves of both.
Prize – We should reflect on eternity by keeping our “eyes on heaven.” No matter how great our suffering may be, it is only temporary.
The Five P’s of Peace are steps that we can take to grow our relationship with the Lord, overcome anxiety, and experience peace. Gary presents them with a warmth and sincerity that could only be displayed by a recovering worrywart! By following Gary’s advice, anxiety sufferers will be able to say “Jesus, I trust in You” with honesty and conviction.
Copyright 2016 Celeste Behe
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