Increasingly, it feels like faithful Catholics are being shut out of society and even the Church. Traditionalists feel dismissed by the hierarchy. LGBTQ activists call us haters. The list goes on.
It’s easy to feel anxious and angry over this treatment. Here’s how to manage these negative sentiments so they don’t rule your life.
Focus your energy on what you can control.
Author, speaker, and businessman Stephen Covey speaks of the spheres of control, influence, and concern. Our sphere of control is the smallest of the three; the sphere of concern is the largest.
Your sphere of concern may be massive: foreign wars, the world economy, the conflict between the pope and bishops. Your sphere of control includes your family and career — in a nutshell, your vocation.
When your sphere of concern grows larger, your sphere of control shrinks. The more you fret about what’s happening in the Church and the world, the less energy you have to devote to the people and tasks God put in your life.
In contrast, the more you invest in your sphere of control, the more that sphere increases, and you have greater energy to deal with bigger problems. As Christ said in Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much.”
You can’t control everything, so practice easing up. Unplug yourself from social media and the news on a regular basis. Spend more time with your family and friends. You’ll be surprised how much you DON’T need to know about what’s going on in the world.
To make the most of the extra time, you could:
– Read Scripture or a devotional book.
– Play games with your kids.
– Take your spouse on a date.
– Go for a walk in nature.
– Attend Holy Hour.
We’re not saying you should completely disengage from the world and Church politics. But if they’re disturbing your peace of mind, it’s time to dial back.
In the end, only one thing matters: your fidelity to Jesus Christ.