Do you easily get anxious about the concerns of this world, or about the future? Drawing from the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Sri breaks down the roots of an anxious heart, and how we can overcome anxiety so we can live in Jesus’ peace.
Snippet from the Show
There are two demons that keep us from living in the present moment. The demon that reminds us of our past and fills our hearts with regrets, and the demon of “what if?”, that fills us with fear about the future.
Do Not Be Anxious
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.– Matthew 6:25-34
While healthy concern is part of prudence, anxiety is never from God. If we find ourselves losing our interior peace and filled with anxiety, then it’s a sign that something is off with us spiritually. Anxiety is often a sign that we are too attached to our plans or certain things of this world. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, there are two main reasons why we get anxious:
- We easily become anxious over the concerns of this world
There are many things we can get anxious about in this life; our finances, our health, our career, our relationships, and our family issues. While genuine concern is reasonable, we fall into sinful worry when:
- We find ourselves worrying about the things of this world, and seek them as ends in themselves or as sources of our happiness. No matter what sort of challenges we face in this life, we must never forget that God is the final end and the source of all our happiness.
- When we are distracted from pursuing spiritual goods and forget about prayer, the sacraments, and God himself. Sometimes we get so anxious about something that we forget to even pray about it.
- When we are afraid that we will lack what we need and fear that God is not going to provide for our needs.
- We easily become anxious about the future
We are not called to live in the future, we are called to live in the present moment. God will give us the grace to deal with the challenges we face in the present moment. When we face unexpected situations, we must cling to God and not to our own plans. There are two demons that keep us from living in the present moment. The demon that reminds us of our past and fills our hearts with regrets, and the demon of “what if?”, that fills us with fear about the future.
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
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Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.
Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri. Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.
Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.