The following is a bit of advice from the Catholic priest-writer, Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance (b. 1860- d. 1946). This spiritual advice was written in 1908, but remains pertinent to our day. I can imagine you, or I, phoning him (if a phone existed whereby we might reach him in heaven) on a day where we are troubled by events and happenings, and he would (still) say the following:
Nowadays we hear and read frequently about “Don’t-Worry Clubs.” Membership in one of these clubs of optimists may be a requirement, but it is not a necessity to a practical Catholic; for there can be no doubt that the best “Don’t-Worry Club” in the world is the Catholic Church, because she directs members to lead a pure and holy life, to do their duty, to rejoice in the Lord always, and to preserve their peace of soul by a simple, childlike confidence in the providence of Our Father in heaven, in accordance with the words of Saint Paul: “We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good” (Rom. Viii. 28).
“Happy is the man,” says the dear St. Francis de Sales, “who does not worry, nor grieve himself, about anything in this world, but leads a holy life, without any inordinate attachment, and abandons himself cheerfully to the will of God.”
St. Francis de Sales, knowing that all the accidents of life, without exception, happen by the order of Providence, reposed in Him with the greatest tranquility, like a child on the bosom of its mother.
This gentle Saint was filled with so great a confidence in God that in the midst of the greatest disasters nothing could disturb his peace of his soul. “I cannot but be persuaded,” he often said, “that he who believes in an infinite Providence, which extends even to the lowest worm, must expect good from all that happens to him.”
In the same spirit, St. Vincent de Paul exhorts us: “Let us place our confidence in God and establish ourselves in an entire dependence on Him. Then fear not what men may say or do against us, all will turn to our advantage.
Yes, if all the earth should rise up against us, nothing will happen but as God pleases, in whom we have established our hopes.”
Says the author of the “Spiritual Combat”: “Nothing is impossible to God, since His power is infinite. Nothing is difficult to God, since His wisdom is equally infinite. God desires our good with an infinite desire, since His goodness is without limit. What could be more capable of inspiring us with great confidence in Him?”
“Have confidence” (Mark vi. 50). “Let your care be to possess your soul in peace and tranquility; let no accident be to you a cause of ill humor.
ONE LITTLE SECRET OF A HAPPY LIFE
One secret of a sweet and happy Christian life is learning to live by the day. It is the long stretches that tire us. We think of life as a whole, running on for us. We cannot carry this load until we are three score and ten. We cannot fight this battle continually for half a century.
But really there are no long stretches. Life does not come to us all at one time; it comes only a day at a time. Even tomorrow is never ours until it becomes today, and we have nothing whatever to do with it but to pass down to it a fair and good inheritance in today’s work well done, and today’s life well lived.
It is a blessed secret this, of living by the day. Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy, till nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, until the sun goes down. And this is all life ever means to us – just one little day.
“Do today’s duty; fight today’s temptations, and do not weaken or distract yourself by looking forward to things you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.”
God gives us nights to shut down upon our little days. We cannot see beyond. Short horizons make life easier and give us one of the blessed secrets of brave, true, holy living. ~Fr. Lasance, My Prayer Book
Thank you, Fr. Lasance!
May you all have a good day.
Image: Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance, source.