I have inherited a high level of anxiety and perfectionism which makes peace difficult to attain in my life. When I was a teenager newly moved to Massachusetts, I learned about ticks and the diseases they carry. I was barely able to leave the house from fear. In College, I was so concerned about my grades that I often started my papers first and finished them last, often cycling through multiple drafts even of short papers.
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As C. S. Lewis pointed out in The Problem of Pain, anxiety is the great intensifier of human suffering. We dread its coming; we fear it will never. When fear becomes a force in your life, it branches off into worries, stress and anxiety; this is all part of the enemy's plan. He wants to drag us down and.
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The problem is when I slow him down, he cannot remember what comes next.
I am blessed to have very engaged, intelligent, and orthodox parishioners. Recently, more than a few have expressed a deep anxiety about things that are taking place within the Church at the episcopal level. These are faithful people — yet they have become confused, discouraged, and fearful about the future. As I was discerning how best to respond to their concerns, a passage from the Book of Sirach came to mind:. My son, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.