Living the Gospel – October 4, 2020

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“An Oops” – Didn’t post last weeks Living the Gospel – October 4, 2020 – Sorry…

These days most of us are filled with anxiety—Will I (or my loved ones) get Covid? Do I send my child to school or is it better, safer for him/her to go entirely remote? What about my job? Will I go back to work? WHEN will I go back to work? Who will watch my children? On and on our muddled thoughts race and with good reason. In this year of 2020 they are very valid concerns.

Then today we hear Paul say, writing to his beloved Philippians from prison, no less: “Have no anxiety at all!” Then he follows it with “but in everything, by prayer and petition and thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”

A few things stand out to me, apparently as relevant today as in the 1st Century. Over the last six months I’ve read multiple articles from Good Housekeeping to the AARP newsletter. How do we combat the anxiety of today? Everyone of them says 1) Meditate 2) Keep a gratitude journal 3) Reach out to others. Not one article that I remember actually says “PRAYER”. Ah, our secular world strikes again! I suppose for those who have an intimate relationship with Our Lord, the word “mediate” might be synonymous with prayer. But would the word “pray” possibly bring a “lukewarm” person back to a more intimate relationship with Christ?

A friend and I were recently discussing keeping things in perspective. That a challenge could be cause for an opportunity. Dwelling on the blessings we do have, written in a gratitude journal or not can certainly lift our spirits and again, keep things in perspective.

And reaching out to others. Loneliness certainly keeps us from maintaining a true perspective. Most likely when we are alone, all things loom much bigger and more serious than they are. While we may not be able to be together physically these days, reaching out by phone, video, social media can keep us in touch with others.

In 2001 the Syracuse Post Standard ran a series of articles—13 in all entitled “In God’s Basket.” It followed the story of a woman named Dee Barney who was about 40 years old, married with 2 boys grade school age. She was diagnosed with a very fast moving, aggressive form of cancer. When asked how she could deal with it all she said, “I have to picture Christ holding out a basket and I just put all my concerns into the basket and give them to Him. What else can I do?”

The series went on for 7 months ending with the story of her death, but through it all was woven the care, concern, support her Church community (non-Catholic) and friends gave to her, her husband and the boys.

Prayer, petition gratitude—Christ is waiting for our requests, our gratitude. He is longing for true, honorable, pure trust in Him –and a gracious, just and loving response toward each other. Then, as Paul says, “the God of Peace will be with you!”

Linda Caminiti