Posted by: L. E. Barnes | March 28, 2010

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

Be sure to check out This That and the Other Thing each week for links to various Catholic blogs.

The late Norman Vincent Peale produced a booklet entitled Thought Conditioners. It is a collection of scripture verses that he found especially helpful for dealing with life’s most common problems, accompanied by a short reflection that he wrote. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of meditating on these verses, primarily as mental therapy for my chronic anxiety. After all, it’s been (correctly, I can attest) pointed out by proponents of cognitive-behavioral therapy that overcoming problems such as anxiety disorders is largely a matter of retraining our minds, of developing new thought patterns. And what better mental habits can you cultivate than meditating on the Lord and His Word?

The verse I’ll try to focus on this week is Proverbs 3:5, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” True, but not always easy to do. I frequently find myself trying to puzzle everything out on my own. We emphasize self-reliance in our individualistic, independence-minded American culture. But Mr. Peale advises us to heed this piece of wisdom from scripture:

This text will help you avoid a nervous breakdown. It will stimulate your recovery if you have had one.

A famous neurologist, specialist in nervous breakdowns, often “prescribes” this text for his patients. He writes the words on a card and instructs his patient to commit them to memory and repeat them until they are indelibly printed on the subconscious mind.

The cause of much nervous trouble is frustration. And the antidote to frustration is a calm faith, not in your own cleverness, or in hard toil, but in God’s guidance. The cure of frustration is the belief that God will help you obtain your heart’s desire. Trust in God with all your heart and you will be able to keep on working in health and happiness for long years to come.

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