Do Not Be Afraid

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Your final question is: “How not worry?”!

By Caryll Houselander,  Catholic Education Resource Center


Well, if only I had an answer to meet that, how gladly I would give it to you, and apply it to myself! But of course there is no shortcut to not worrying.

It does not necessarily imply want of trust; in fact, it may be that what God asks of you is to accept it, and not to worry about worrying!

Trust does not, of course, mean that you trust God to remove the causes of worry, though if you persevere in prayer in spite of all setbacks, he may do that; but trust really means that, however impossible it is to realize this emotionally, your will accepts as a certainty that whatever God allows to happen is, in his plan of love, what is really best for you and those whom you love.

“Surrender” to God’s will does not of course mean being able to want disaster!

It does mean believing, blindly of course, that whatever happens, and whatever you feel about it, you are in his hands, and so are those you love.

The more you say, “I must not worry,” the more you will: I think it better simply to offer the worrying to God….

I have the temperament which just has to face the worst possibility, and I think, when one does, one realizes that the very worst can be accepted.  My way is to say in every emergency, “Now what is the worst that can happen?” and then, “So what?”  That works with me.


Acknowledgement: Caryll Houselander. “Do Not Be Afraid.” excerpt from The Letters Of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy (Sheed and Ward, New York, 1965).

Reproduced by kind permission of Continuum International Publishing Group, a Bloomsbury Company. This excerpt appeared in Magnificat.

The Author

house1house2Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) was a British Roman Catholic laywoman; a mystic, writer, artist, visionary and healer. Her first book, This War is the Passion, written during World War II, launched her prolific writing career. She is best known for: A Rocking Horse CatholicThe Reed of God,The Way of the CrossThis War is the PassionThe Risen ChristThe Letters Of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy, and Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross: The Little Way of the Infant Jesus.

Copyright © 1965 Caryll Houselander