“Take from my heart all painful anxiety” is a gospel inspired prayer. It is the prayer of Catherine McAuley, the first Sister of Mercy. Like Jesus, Catherine knew in her being that a troubled heart is an ever present possibility: we deal with one problem and along comes another. When we don’t have any serious worries in the present, we are often anxious about the future. There is a difference, of course, between having worries and having a troubled heart. The difference lies in how we deal with the inevitable problems and challenges that come our way.
Freedom from anxiety is the constant message of the gospels. “Do not let your hearts be troubled” is Jesus’ word to his friends in John’s gospel.
Jesus points out the path to an untroubled heart: “Believe in God, believe also in me.’” The faith of the disciples is to be grounded in his care for them both in the present and into the future: “I go to prepare a place for you… I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also”. In this context, Jesus makes three claims: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” The prologue to the gospel, which functions as an overture to the whole work, has introduced the notion of the glorified Jesus as “full of grace and truth” and the bringer of “grace and truth”(1:14, 17). He is the life that is the light of all (1:4).

Excerpted from the Gospel Reflection of Mercy Sister Veronica Lawson available at www.catholicrelegiousaustralia.org