The Courage to Live Simply
Personally, I am not good with courage or living simply.
- lightning storms
- spiders, snakes, anything that creeps
- being alone
- injury or illness to my kids; just to name a few.
As I have well documented in my Money Monday series; my inability to live within my means for the last 30+ years has wreaked havoc on my finances and my peace of mind. Where was Pope Francis’ message when I needed it?
If I’m honest, would I have even listened back then?
Well, luckily as long as I’m breathing – there is always time to find out. Here’s the amazing thing about being a believer and a friend of God – “see I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5); today I can make the changes necessary to embrace this message and apply its teaching to my current (and for hence forth) circumstances.
Life requires courage. That is clear in the horrific events of this year – just making the decision to leave our homes can be cause for pause. In the case of my dear friend from our parish, stabbed in her own home by a random act by a distraught young man, even home doesn’t feel safe any longer. There is illness and accidents; and so much beyond our control that can lead our hearts to ache; and fall into despair and fear. As a person who has battled anxiety her entire life (diagnosed with a ‘nervous stomach’ at age 9); just watching the news or reading social media can send me spiraling into a panic attack.
So what do we do?
For me, the anxiety always exists – but I combat it with great courage using the weapons of scripture, participation in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church; and with prayer (lots and lots). “Pray without ceasing” St Paul exhorts – and I do so by holding a continual conversation with the unseen world in my thoughts. Instead of talking to myself; which usually only causes a deeper spiral because I do not always remember the truth nor maintain the light in my heart. No, I need to reach to those who are basking in the light of Christ and gazing upon the face of God. My saint posse – St Therese; Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey, Padre Pio St. Faustina, and Servant of God Patrick Peyton – are on speed dial; along with my guardian angel and the Blessed Mother. They keep me connected to the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and help me to remain focused on the prize of heaven, and to live simply and bravely.
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016