"On the Way of the Cross, you see, my children, only the first step is painful. Our greatest cross is the fear of crosses. . . We have not the courage to carry our cross, and we are very much mistaken; for, whatever we do, the cross holds us tight- we cannot escape from it. What then have we to lose? Why not love our crosses and make use of them to get to heaven?" (St. John Vianney)One of the consequences that resulted from the Fall was the introduction of fear into the filial relationship between God and man. Sin ruptured the bond and uncertainty replaced confidence in God's divine providence. Anxiety is like a stubborn weed that chokes a serene soul and banishes peace from a tranquil heart. It is such an attractive activity, especially for the restless, because it occupies the mind with ceaseless distractions from the silence of needed prayer. Anxiety indulges one's selfish tendencies by its narrow focus on how an impending situation will cause that individual to suffer. To worry is an easy task because it excites one's imagination, offering innumerable scenarios to be played out, and always that self-pitying that assuages the ego.
However, St. John Vianney said:
" God commands you to pray, He forbids you to worry."Rather than endure the emotional exhaustion of worrying, one need only to accept his cross and constantly pray for the perseverance to carry it with love. Worry eminates from a lack of trust in God, and a lack of confidence in our own gifts to shoulder a particular burden.
One forgets too often that, through Baptism, he has become an adopted child of God. Our God is not a distant being, indifferent to our fate. No, He is a father, deeply invested in our lives, deeply desirous for our good, ever so willing to send His graces when we ask for them in prayer. Crosses will surely come, for we cannot attain heaven without them, but He wants us not to fear the pain and sorrow that accompany them but instead have confidence in the hope of heaven that they promise when endured willingly.