Prayer and worry are incompatible. If you pray and then worry, your prayer is cancelled out. Prayer is the first step of faith.
One of my favorite parts about being Catholic is how deep and wide the Church is. Whether it be expressions of faith or even theology, there’s always something new to discover. Over the past few months as Alison and I have made the move to Washington, DC and started new jobs, I’ve done a lot of worrying. It’s not just that things are different or that they’re new, it’s that we’ve never lived through a transition like this together and we just don’t know what’s going to happen next or if our plans are realistic.
Since God, like any good parent, doesn’t like to waste any opportunities for teaching moments, I’ve noticed that my faith has gotten pretty weak. I believe, but I don’t completely trust.
What is faith? Faith is trust. It’s trust in God that His Word is true. The popular phrase is “Let go and let God.” I agree that we need to let go, but it’s easier said than done.
We’re active participants in Salvation History. If by “letting go and letting God” I sit on my couch all day, nothing will get done. I’m God’s hands, His feet, His mouth. We’re an active part of the plan. We can truly only be a part of the plan if we have a relationship with Him.
I once heard a priest say that we put more faith in Tylenol than we do in the Eucharist. He reasoned that when we take Tylenol, we expect something to happen. Yet, when we receive the Eucharist, in all of it’s miraculous mystery and bundle of graces, we expect nothing. That’s a crisis of faith.
When you pray, something happens. When you pray the rosary, something happens. When you go spend a few minutes in quiet Adoration, something happens.
We don’t want to be presumptuous and we don’t want to put God to the test. But faith isn’t doing either of those things. Faith is trusting in God’s Word. God told us that the Eucharist has untold graces available to those who are open to them. The Rosary has literally changed the course of history. The exposed Blessed Sacrament has brought about untold miracles. So by reverently receiving the Eucharist or praying with our whole hearts, we need to trust Him and expect something to happen, because it will.
Knowing all of this, knowing the amazing events in human history that have been drastically effected by prayer, pray with confidence. If prayer can close an abortion clinic, it can help you. If prayer can bring down Communism, it can help you. If prayer can stop the Ottoman Empire from turning the Basilica of St. Peter into a mosque, it can help you.
Worry is wasted energy and time. Spend that time in prayer and then trust that God will give you the help and the graces that you need to finally make it home.