Last month I shared a personal story about How God Moves Us. I have been slowly working through a book that came out of that experience (In the School of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Jacques Philippe). I'm only on page 40, but each page is a goldmine. The general message is this: The Holy Spirit is essential to our Christian life and is needed to progress on the path on which God leads us. The Holy Spirit inspires, but we have to be disposed to notice and respond to these inspirations. In the book, the author references a powerful quote from St. John of the Cross:
"Take care to preserve your heart in peace; let no happening of this world upset it... even if everything here below crumbled apart and all things were against us, there would be no use in upsetting ourselves over it, for that upset would bring us more harm than benefit."
The author goes on to write, "The greatest harm that upsetting ourselves does to us is that it makes us incapable of following the impulses of the Holy Spirit". Even as I write this on a Friday afternoon I'm thinking about the 100 things I had on my todo list this week that didn't get done, and I'm feeling anxious about the busy weekend schedule packed with theatre rehearsals, sports practices, and games. I'm worrying.
When I am worrying, I am not listening. I'm not noticing God's presence or looking for those inspirations from the Holy Spirit. Instead, I'm busy trying to control those parts of my life that I'm worried about.
Schedule 10 minutes this weekend for prayer. Specifically, offering to God everything that you are worried about. Say them out loud, be specific, admit you can't control them even thought you want to, and admit you need God's help letting go. For some of us, that list is long. Trust me, it's worth it.