Since human beings are fallible, the individual who cannot tolerate himself as fallible stands a slim chance of remaining on good terms with himself.
Before we plunge into action dictated by anguish or despair, we should ask ourselves: “Am I doing this because I honestly think it will help the situation or am I, like a small child stung by a hornet running frantically in circles?” if we can train ourselves to face trouble and uncertainty, rather than fly from them, we will find that there are wise and steadying things we can do. To make even a small move towards a solution of our problem is good, for in facing up to one problem we gather strength to tackle the next. Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards. They simply unveil them to the eyes of men. Imperceptibly as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak and at least some crisis shows what we have become.
Perhaps the greatest folly is for each of use to hug his troubles to himself. Often the path through our worst worries can be made smoother if we seek the guidance of a trusted friend. But there are limits to human wisdom. The only adequate way to endure large evils is to find large consolations. The key to this search is a prayer. And in asking God to strengthen us for meeting all the situation of life, we should behave as though we know God will answer.
In 1903 a young doctor at the University of Lyons was ridiculed because he mentioned that a tuberculosis case he attended had been miraculously cured at Lourdes. “With such views” said the dean coldly, “you can hardly expect to be received as a member of our faculty!” “In that case,” said the young doctor, “I must look elsewhere”. He went to New York to the Rockefeller Institute and in 1912 as a result of his researches there he received the Nobel Prize. His name was Alexis Carrel. He says: “As a doctor, I have seen men; after all other therapy had failed, lifted out of disease and melancholy by the serene effect of prayer. Such occasions have been termed as miracles. But a constant, quieter miracle takes places hourly in the hearts of men and women who have discovered that prayer supplies them with a steady flow of sustaining power in their daily lives”.
Finally, how much less we should worry about ourselves if we were to worry about others! And how comforted we should be if we could see our struggles as a part of the vaster struggle of a whole creation intent on growth and renewal. In that light, our anxieties become symbols of man’s determination to improve his lot. As responsible people we cannot expect to live without trouble and fear and worry. But we can meet our problems bravely and wisely and calmly. By doing so, we not only make our lives easier, but we also add our bit to the sum of human dignity and faith.