The kingdom of God is within you. We’ve all heard this truth, but few fully understand it. When I sign my letters, I often write, "May the Lord be your strength and your joy."
It’s a way of reminding people that they can rely on the spirit within to do the heavy lifting. To protect yourself from needless worry, you have to know how to enjoy the present moment.
Think for a moment that the Lord wants you to carry your cross with courage, and he wants to banish needless worry. A holy person is one who listens to the words of Jesus and even through life’s trials and tribulations strives to obey them. We all face troubles of one kind or another in life but with knowledge of God’s presence we can help to surpass the challenges that fall on us. God is with us in the best and the worst moments.
Start with this simple statement: "Yes, Lord, I want to be holy." Once you say yes to the Lord, your main task is to trust him. Trust is the purest way to show your love.
As you know, the enemy of trust is doubt. Doubt can cloud your best intentions and weaken your spirit. It is basically a fear that you may be a fool for believing in the supernatural.
Don’t be taken in by those who urge you to doubt everything unless you can prove it scientifically. Those who do that build their houses on sand and encourage others to do the same — a clear case of the blind leading the blind.
Take responsibility for your holiness and happiness. Train your will to say, "Yes, Lord, I believe, I trust you with my whole heart." Don’t live in the mental swamp of doubt and guilt because if you do, you’re always going to feel miserable and unworthy.
Strive for a clean conscience. Renew your good intentions. Go to confession. Begin again and get back to holy Communion on a regular basis.
Never say, "Why do I have to go to Mass?" That’s like saying, "Why do I have to thank God?"
God has given you everything: your life and your ability to love and be loved. Attending Mass is the best way to say thank you to God.
The Mass is a ritual of thanksgiving. Be grateful in all circumstances. God wants you to live gladly because of his love. Put on the will to take charge of your thoughts. The reward will be great.
Father Catoir is a columnist for Catholic News Service.