We worry all the time, and with reason. Who can predict what will happen tomorrow? But we should remember our eternal destination, says St. Augustine. Everything we do in this life should ultimately be done with that in mind.
Not even the saints and the faithful worshipers of the one true and most high God are safe from the many temptations and lies of the demons. But in this abode of weakness, and in these wicked days, this state of anxiety also has its use. It stimulates us to look with keener longing for that security where peace is complete and unassailable.
There we shall enjoy the gifts of nature—that is, all that God, the Creator of all natures, has given our nature. These gifts are not only good, but eternal—not only of the spirit, now healed by wisdom, but also of the body, renewed by the resurrection. There the virtues will no longer struggle against any vice or evil, but will enjoy the reward of victory, eternal peace undisturbed by any adversary. This is the final blessedness, the ultimate consummation, the end without end.
Here we say we are blessed when we have what peace we can enjoy in a good life. But such blessedness is mere misery compared to that final happiness.
When we mortals have such peace as this life can give us, virtue (if we live rightly) makes proper use of the advantages of this peaceful condition. When we do not have that peace, virtue still makes good use of the evils we suffer. But real virtue refers all the advantages it makes good use of, and everything it does to make good use of good and evil things, and even itself, to that end in which we shall enjoy the best and greatest peace possible.
–St. Augustine, City of God, 19.10
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Do my worries lead me to be a better Christian, or do they distract me from spiritual things and turn my attention to the world?
Lord Jesus Christ, our mighty King, you have vanquished hell and trodden death under your foot. Take away the sinful and wicked influence of carnal desire, and strengthen me by your divine power.