Fear and Anxiety No More

When I started writing this story, Deacon Dick Brady, a holy man from Colorado, was dying of lung cancer. A while ago our paths crossed through a group I founded called the 24 Hour Chaplet of Divine Mercy Prayer Group.

Deacon Brady loved God very much, and it shined through his painful ordeal. In addition to his physical suffering, he was enduring an onslaught of fear and anxiety as well. Deacon Brady chose not to be medicated, but rather decided to embrace his cross and turn to our Merciful Savior.

One of our prayer group members, Penny, asked me if we, here in my home parish in Tennessee, could hold our 1st-class relic of St. Faustina before the Blessed Sacrament and pray for Deacon Brady. The plan was to pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for healing and God's will in Deacon Brady's life.

Indeed, that's what we did. At 5:55 p.m. in Tennessee, we prayed while simultaneously in Colorado, Penny and Deacon Brady also prayed.

As our prayer group prays, we trust that our Lord will pour out His graces to those for whom we pray. Deacon Brady understood this as we prayed for him.

Our Lord told St. Faustina, "My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me - clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don't want to believe in My goodness" (Diary of St. Faustina, 177).

I found out a few weeks after we prayed for Deacon Brady that his fear and anxiety had subsided on the very day we prayed with St. Faustina before the Blessed Sacrament! Miraculously, Deacon Brady was filled with an extraordinary peace of God that he carried with him through the physical suffering. We were overjoyed for him as we continued to pray for him. Peace in the midst of suffering!

Saint Faustina once wrote, "The Lord visited me today and said, 'My daughter, do not be afraid of what will happen to you. I will give you nothing beyond your strength. You know the power of My grace; let that be enough' " (Diary, 1491).

Fear and anxiety can be dangerous obstacles to our spiritual life. Jesus said as much to St. Faustina:

My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self-love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy. (Diary, 1488)

The road is sometimes very difficult, but our Lord gives us - through St. Faustina - some pointers on how to endure the struggles and sufferings of life:

And when it seems to you that your suffering exceeds your strength, contemplate My Wounds and you will rise above human scorn and judgment. Meditation on My Passion will help you rise above all things. (Diary, 1184)

Christ also gave the following directives:

First, do not fight against a temptation by yourself, but disclose it to the confessor at once, and then the temptation will lose all its force. Second, during these ordeals do not lose your peace; live in My presence; ask My Mother and the Saints for help. Third, have the certitude that I am looking at you and supporting you. Forth, do not fear either struggles of the soul or any temptations, because I am supporting you; if only you are willing to fight, know that the victory is always on your side. Fifth, know that by fighting bravely you give Me great glory and amass merits for yourself. Temptation gives you a chance to show Me your fidelity" (Diary, 1560).

Deacon Brady passed away last week.

I will always be inspired by his struggle. In his pain, he never took the easy way out. He wanted everyone to know this story, and he gave me permission to write it in the hopes that people will be inspired to turn to Christ with trust, especially when they are overcome with adversity. In our modern world, we sometimes try to escape, via drugs or via denial, instead of facing the fear and anxiety from the crosses in our life. When we face our crosses, we learn to trust more in our Lord and thus grow in virtue and intimacy as we learn from them.

Our prayer group continues to pray for the soul of Deacon Brady. He fought bravely in his battle with lung cancer. He kept the faith, and I believe in my heart that he was rewarded for his trust in the unfathomable mercy of God.

"Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death," Jesus told St. Faustina (Diary, 1520).

We invite all of you reading this story to pray for him, his parish and family and learn to pray for all the sick and dying on a regular basis as our Lord wanted us to. Pray the Chaplet and always remember the promises of our Lord.

"With souls that have recourse to My mercy and with those that glorify and proclaim My great mercy to others, I will deal according to My infinite mercy at the hour of their death," He said (Diary, 379).

Learn to pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy by clicking here

Jay Hastings, of Bartlett, Tenn., is the founder of a growing group of Divine Mercy devotees who ensure that the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is being prayed every hour of the day. The 24-hour Chaplet members now consist of more than 600 people from across the United States, as well as from Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Bolivia, Belize, India, Costa Rica, Australia, Kuwait, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Tanzania, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, and the Cayman Islands who are assigned an hour each day in which to pray. They pray for three things: the promotion of the Divine Mercy devotion; the sick and dying in the hour that you pray; and people about to commit mortal sin. To join the 24-Hour Chaplet, contact Jay via e-mail, pj7772@msn.com or via phone, 901-438-7772.

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