How to Overcome Anxiety

anxiety-and-stress

Anxiety robs us of inner peace.  Nothing good comes of it.  Anxiety causes restless days, sleepless nights, and even affects our health.

So if nothing goods comes from anxiety, why do we allow it to have so much power over us?  I think because it’s such a powerful emotion; it grips us, and we actually feel powerless over it.  We feel that we are held captive by it.

But do we need to be slaves to anxiety?  Not according to St. Paul.  He tells us, “Have no anxiety at all” (Philippians 4:6).  Easier said than done?  Maybe.  But St. Paul advises how to overcome anxiety.   Read more »

Being over Doing

Do we give primacy to being over doing?

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot.  For me, this summer has been quieter than usual.  Yes, I’ve had office work to do, some meetings, and have been helping in parishes, but it’s been a far cry from the rat race of the academic year.  In my current assignments as Spiritual Director of the Seminary and chaplain of La Salle Academy, my life is punctuated by the academic year. So it’s natural that summer would be a bit slower than usual, especially in Rhode Island where people flock to the beaches.  Read more »

The Path of Prayer

There’s a path you can walk that leads to peace
A path that leads to joy
There’s a path you can walk that leads to faith
A path that leads to hope
There’s a path you can walk that leads to love
A path that leads to God

It’s the path of prayer

On the path of prayer you will find peace
You will find lasting joy
On the path of prayer you will find faith
You will find shining hope
On the path of prayer you will find love
Safe in the arms of God

Living from the Heart

Are you living in your head or from your heart?

What does it feel like to live in our heads? When we live in our heads we over think, we easily tire, we literally feel our minds buzzing with distractions.  We feel mentally, spiritually, and emotionally cluttered.  Living in our heads is heavy, burdensome, and tiring.

What does it feel like to live from our hearts?  We feel connected to God, to ourselves, and to others.  We feel passion and love.  We enjoy the moment.  We’re serene and happy.

Living in our heads is draining; living from our hearts is invigorating.  Living in our heads drives us to isolate.; living from our hearts leads us to connect more deeply with others.

I think many of us are disconnected from our hearts.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the heart is “the place of encounter.”  The heart is the deepest center of the person, the place where we are most authentically ourselves, the place where we encounter the living and Triune God.  The more we connect with our hearts, the more we connect with the Lord who dwells in us.

So how do we make this journey from living in our heads to living from our hearts?  I’ve been trying to do just that.  I’ve consciously distanced myself from technology.  I’ve gotten off of Facebook and Twitter and disabled email on my iPhone.  Yes, I still use the internet and email daily, but I’ve consciously stepped away from a lot of it.  It’s made a big impact in a short amount of time.  I’m more peaceful, and I’m more connected to the Lord, myself, and others.

So here are some steps you can take to get out of your head and into your heart:

  • Minimize distractions in your daily life.  Let technology be your servant not your master.
  • Declutter.  Get rid of the clothes you don’t need.  Clean off your desk.  Get rid of those items you’ve been wanting to throw away.
  • Consciously slow down during the day.  Remember that you are a temple of the Lord.
  • Make time for daily silence; open your heart to the Lord in deeper prayer.
  • Be present to people.  Look them in the eyes.  Be conscious that God is present in your encounter with each and every person.
  • Commit to some type of physical exercise.
  • Enjoy nature.
  • Laugh.

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The Spirituality of Slow

I’ve recently made a few decisions that might seem drastic to some of you: I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts and I disabled email on my iPhone. Yes, I’ve decided to rebel against a culture that tells us we need to multitask, that our personal value depends upon how much work we get done […]

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Overcoming Fear

What are you afraid of? We all have fears.  Fear of the future.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of being vulnerable.  Fear of failure.  Some of us live in a constant state of fear.  It’s no wonder then that the most frequent words in the Bible are, “Do not be afraid.” “Do not be afraid.”  These […]

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Stillness

Lately I’ve had a desire for deeper stillness in my soul, a desire to live in the present moment, a desire to be present to God’s presence within me.  I wrote this poem as a meditation on the stillness in Christ’s soul—His resting in the Father—from the Incarnation, through His life, passion, death, and resurrection, […]

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Sunset

The tinge of auburn which remains From the evening sunset Glows gently through the thin clouds, As if You have taken the painter’s brush And gently stroked the horizon. The evening breeze blows Gently on my face. As I gaze toward the west: Peace, gentleness, love In the beginning You spoke And creation came to […]

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Of Hugs and Broken Bottles

It was a precious moment gone awry.  A few weeks ago I was at my parent’s house for a big Sunday dinner and birthday cake for my oldest sister, Debbie.  My mom called me as I was on my way home and asked me to stop at the liquor store to buy a couple of […]

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Lessons from a Flight Delay

As I write this I’m cruising at 30,000 feet on my way to Omaha, Nebraska to spend the week at the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) at Creighton University.  IPF is a wonderful program designed to help seminarians enter into a deeper relationship with the Holy Trinity.  There are 175 seminarians from all over the […]

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A Pipe and a Prayer

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God” (Gerard Manley Hopkins). I’m an extrovert by nature, but over the years I’ve learned to enjoy silence and solitude.  Truthfully, I think I’ve always had a contemplative-philosophical side to me.  I remember as a child laying in bed at night, driving myself crazy pondering what it […]

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My Critique of Mindfulness

“To know God’s presence we need to adopt an attitude of awareness” (Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, S.J.). I enjoy reading personal development blogs.  I benefit from the insights that many bloggers offer on how to improve our lives, how to be more productive, and how to stay balanced and positive.  A recurring theme that many […]

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Where Do You Seek Refuge?

Two months ago we wept with the people of Haiti as they experienced the strongest earthquake to hit their country in two centuries.  The damage was catastrophic; the death toll staggering.  Thankfully, so many people around the world have contributed both spiritually with prayer and materially with money and other resources. As with many catastrophes, […]

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Do You Know the WHOLE Serenity Prayer?

Most of you are probably familiar with the Serenity Prayer.  This prayer has become a source of consolation and strength to Christians and non-Christians alike for the simple reason that it gives voice to our human experience and it resonates deeply in our hearts: God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot […]

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Are You Missing the Gift of the Present?

So you have a problem. You find that you’re spending way too much time either dwelling on the past or thinking about the future. You truly want to stop, but you don’t know how; the past and the future are constantly luring you with their voices, and you keep listening to them. You wonder why you’re constantly restless and why you lack interior peace and joy, but the answer is right before you—literally right before you. It’s called the present moment.

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