Are you finding yourself feeling more anxious lately? Maybe you feel like your life is put on hold, and you’re anxious about what the future holds. Or maybe you are an essential worker, and you’re anxious about your health and your family. No matter what your life looks like these days, it’s likely that you could use some help finding peace in the present moment.
Recently on Father Simon Says™ a listener called in to ask Fr. Simon how to hold on to hope, even when it seems like things are falling apart around you.
The listener said, “I’m a lifelong Catholic and I try (and because of Relevant Radio®, I’ve really gotten better at it) to balance myself between not being in distress and having faith in God, and yet dealing with the realities of my life.”
“I was just was laid off,” she explained. “I’m going to have my job, hopefully, until September. But there are a myriad of other problems that have beset us in the last few years, financially, with family, our elder son with some addiction issues, and I mean, I could just go on.”
The listener told Fr. Simon that she knows people who say they hear God when they pray, and they know that their prayers are being heard. But, she admitted that she doesn’t have that same experience of hearing the Lord in her prayer.
“I don’t know how to do that,” she said.
Fr. Simon responded, “One way you can hear God, of course, is through the Holy Scriptures. And if you are looking for a prayer that will help calm you down, I would say make this your prayer. Just read Romans 8:28. ‘We know that all things work for good for those that love God…’ Just read it all the way down to the end of the chapter, until verse thirty nine.”
He also suggested a novel by C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters. Because in addition to hearing the word of God and accepting his gift of hope we need to reject the lies the devil is telling us, so that we can meet God in the present moment.
“In The Screwtape Letters there is a chapter that talks about how the devil wants us to live in the future, because the future is unreal,” Fr. Simon said. “The present is the moment where time and eternity meet. The present is all that we really have. And the present is where we meet God.”
“So the devil wants us to live in the future, be it a wonderful future or a horrible future, because if we live in the future, we will never notice the blessings of today.”