Trinitarians and Keeping Faith when Stressed
By Elias Sleiman
The Trinitarians looked at an important and relevant topic in our latest Friday Night Trinity meeting; Keeping Faith When Feeling Stressed.
This is an important topic that can greatly benefit both one’s mental and spiritual health. We began the topic by exploring what stress is and how we deal with stress. For those willing, many Trinitarians shared how they deal with stress and the degree to which our faith comes into play during stressful moments. Whether it be praying, confronting the cause of stress or just talking to someone else. By sharing our personal methods, we all gained an insight into the many ways stress can be managed. We then discussed bad and good ways to deal with stress, this overall discussion was very beneficial and uplifting for me and all our members as we understood useful strategies and variations for dealing with stress. It was a great discussion which benefits understanding and dealing with stress.
The next half of the meeting however was very faith based and focused on what our faith says about stress and the ways in which we should turn to God during stressful times.
One of the key points discussed is that during times of stress we should turn to God and pray for His will and guidance during such a time.
If we are stressed about an exam, we shouldn’t pray for God to take the exam away from us but rather we should pray that God helps us during our time of stress and study. We all carry our cross and stress might be our cross, but there is strength, virtue, perhaps knowledge and a closeness to God that we can gain when carrying our cross.
We looked at two excellent articles and split into two groups. Both groups had one article each and had to teach the other group what their respective article was about. One article looked at what not to do when stressed, some of the things listed and explained in this article included replacing silent time with screen time, isolating ourselves, staying away from prayer and exercise, being overly busy and thinking struggling with mental health makes one weak. This article emphasised how these bad habits during stressful periods not only isolate us from our faith but also are a hindrance to our mental state. The next article however contrasted really nicely with the aforementioned article. The next article looked at what the saints have said about stress. I believe this is a great article that any Catholic should bookmark and turn to in times of stress. The article listed several quotes from saints. Here are a few quotes from the article:
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” –St. Padre Pio
“In sorrow and suffering, go straight to God with confidence, and you will be strengthened, enlightened, and instructed.” –St. John of the Cross
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin.” –St. Teresa of Calcutta
“What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.” –St. Pope John Paul II
“And of what should we be afraid? Our captain on this battlefield is Christ Jesus. We have discovered what we have to do. Christ has bound our enemies for us and weakened them that they cannot overcome us unless we so choose to let them. So, we must fight courageously and mark ourselves with the sign of the most Holy Cross.” –St. Catherine of Siena
A key lesson across the entirety of the meeting is that while stress may be inevitable, we are never truly alone in dealing with it, we should look to doing things we enjoy, speak to people we love during stressful times and above all things turn to God and our faith.
To the Saints, stress seemed to be of microscopic importance because when we turn to God everything else is secondary – all our stress and burdens become microscopic because of the magnitude of our God and faith.
There are many Saints that delighted in stressful times because they used their stress and burdens as a means to learn, grow and strengthen their relationship with God.
This recent Trinitarians covered an excellent topic, in excellent ways, we should look to positive ways to deal with stress, that our beneficial to ourselves and our relationship to our faith. We also discussed how we should turn to scripture and with Bible apps on our phones and tablets, we can have a Bible in our pocket to read at any time.
I highly recommend the Trinitarians Youth Ministry for the youth. This very important topic that we explored was complimented with hot chocolates, cookies, snacks, laughs and friendship that is present in all our meetings.
The below links are the articles used by the Trinitarians as well as a Holy Bible App used by some TYMers to easily bring scripture to their phones: