What follows are my reflections on some ideas that came up during my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5).

Here are ten things you don’t need to worry about as you live out your spiritual life.

  1. The Church Universal is going to disappear and collapse. If you read the sensationalist, tabloid press (all press seems to be tabloid), the Catholic Church is losing people and will end up in bankruptcy. If the Church Universal collapses and the gates of Hell prevail, then there is no Holy Spirit. If there is no Holy Spirit, there is no Resurrection. If there is no Resurrection, there is no God. If there is no God, go out and have a cup of Kona Brand coffee and wait to die. You can’t change anything but your own world. Relax!
  2. It sometimes seems like the unrepentant adulterers, fornicators, thieves, detractors, drunks, witches, drug addicts, unfaithful priests and religious, fake politicians, parental strife, incest, drug gangs, murderers, and prostitutes will inherit the earth. It might seem like evil will conquer the world and all those evildoers get away with murder. They will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Notice the important word “unrepentant”. Relax!

3. Don’t make the mistake of judging who is saved or who is going to Hell. That is a subtle form of idolatry. You spend all your time being judgmental about others and less time about loving God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Who made you God? Relax!

4. Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all else will follow. Matthew 6:33 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God[a] and his[b] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Relax!

5. Don’t worry about who is right in the Bible and who is not. John 20:30-31 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah,[b] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. Sacred Scripture was written down so that you may believe that Jesus Christ, Son of God, is Lord and Messiah. Concentrate on your belief and not on why everyone else does not believe in Christ as you do. Relax!

6. The Ecumenical Councils (21 of them to be exact) contain the policies and procedures of the Church Universal in that age. It would be wrong to think of the Pope as having great secular authority over us. He does have authority, but, in keeping with the sign of contradiction, it is one of being the servant of the servants of Christ, not one to lord it over us. Authority comes from Christ alone and to anyone to whom he entrusts it. Accepting Christ means you accept those that shepherds of the flock. St. Benedict points out in his Rule, Chapter 4 for monks,

“57 Every day with tears and sighs confess your past sins to God in prayer
58 and change from these evil ways in the future. 59 Do not gratify the promptings of the flesh (Gal 5:16);
60 hate the urgings of self-will.
61 Obey the orders of the abbot unreservedly, even if his own conduct–which God forbid–be at odds with what he says. Remember the teaching of the Lord: Do what they say, not what they do (Matt 23:3).” Relax!

7. Pray as though everything depends upon God and work as though everything depends upon you. — St. Augustine. Relax!

Saint Augustine Quote: “Pray as though everything depended on God ...

8. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are not good enough to be in the presence of God now, and later on, in heaven. You are not! Moving from a false self to a true self is a process that takes a lifetime. It is Christ who sits with us on that park bench and is our mediator with the Father. It is the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, who allows us to say, “Jesus is Lord.” Relax!

9. Don’t worry that you sometimes think of Christ and sometimes it is just not your day. The peaks and valleys of life are part of our journey. Just because your road is rocky doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road. Trust in God to help you on the way to the truth, and thus live the life that you alone can experience. What you can do is, in silence and solitude, look right next to you and find Christ was there all along. Anyone marked with the sign of faith (the cross) has Christ as a companion. Contemplative practices just allow each of us to say hello to Christ in the stillness of our hearts. Relax

10. Place your Hope in God alone. Relax!

Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen –Cistercian doxology

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