Gaudete! Be nothing solicitous!

Gaudete! The following verse is taken from the Epistle for the Third Sunday of Advent in the Ancient Rite:

Be nothing solicitous; but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.  (Phil 4:6)

This isn’t Hakuna Matata from The Lion King, as in “no troubles.” Solicitousness is the vice of excessive worry: Anxiety. And there is certainly no shortage of it today. The remedy for this is nothing less than total abandonment to the Divine Providence. What have you got to lose? Resolve to try it for a week, and see what happens. If it didn’t kill you, try for a month. Then three months.

God is in control. He is, right now, controlling every aspect of the physical universe. He knows where you are and what you are going through. If He stopped thinking about you for a nanosecond, you would cease to exist. So, while you very well may have “troubles,” you should turn them over to the Lord, and trust in Him. Trust also the future to Him. Use what troubles you have as a tool to draw yourself closer to Him, uniting your will with His.

Having a crappy Advent? You’ve got two weeks left… get cracking.

“As the modern world rushes headlong into political tyranny, economic meltdown, and cultural persecution, it is natural, and supernatural, for faithful Catholics to turn to God. As we are forcibly detached from our dominion over material things, it is natural that we cling more tightly to the spiritual goods in our lives: our relationship with God, family and friends, and with ourselves. With the help of God’s grace, we will profit from this forcible detachment by not only seeing the worth of spiritual things, but by putting them in their proper order: loving God above all things and then loving our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God. One of the natural consequences of this rearrangement will be a more fervent and efficacious prayer life. Prayer is our first duty not only as Christians, but even as men. It is natural and necessary (ie. part of natural law) that we beg graces from Him from Whom we have everything – even our existence. It is natural and necessary that we acknowledge, abase ourselves before, honour and thank the Supreme Being. It is natural that we converse with God, union with Whom is our ultimate end, the ultimate purpose of our existence. Regular prayer, therefore, is necessary to obtain heaven for those who have attained reason.

5 thoughts on “Gaudete! Be nothing solicitous!”

  1. This is the first article I’ve read this morning and I can’t think of a better way to start the day, especially on Gaudete Sunday. Thank you Mark.

  2. I like how you block-quoted “troubles” as if people don’t have legitimate troubles. Or as if troubles are never as bad as we think. Mental illness is a big ole “trouble”. I’m 47, had it for 28 years. Not having worked in 9 years because of a broken back, also a “trouble”. Having a father sick with cancer that was actually caused by his doctor is a big “trouble”.

    God allows us these things, for reasons only He knows. It’s glib to say just give it all up to God and things will be ok. No one who has had real problems can say that. That’s my issue with so many rad-trad Catholics. Many have not been through real trouble, real existential trouble. And they like to tell others that theirs don’t matter or are insignificant. Or that we should be ashamed of our concern over them.

    Go to St. Jude Children’s hospital and see if you can get away with that. Where else do we have to go but God? But it’s not so easy. When Christ went through His own “troubles” he didn’t just sail on through it.

    Some carry lighter crosses than others, apparently.

    1. Prayers for you jmy1975. I too have had heavy crosses the past 10 years….but they are what brought me to and strengthened my faith. If I may suggest, stop complaining, tell the Lord, You’ve got my attention, please have mercy on me and help me. Oh, and tell Him you’re sorry for complaining. He WILL help you with just a tad bit of humility.

  3. Considering how things are going in the post-Christian West, we’ll ALL be carrying much heavier crosses. Sooner rather than later.

    There are days when I slip into dysphoria and lament the reality that my children will face, but God destined for them to exist. I shall love and teach them as best I can.

    The joy upon my oldest daughter’s face when she discovered she has an earthly mother AND the blessed Virgin as her spiritual mother…it brings peace to my soul and the dysphoria of this world melts away.

    Pray. The. Rosary.

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