With the single exception of sin, anxiety is the greatest evil that can happen to a soul. Just as sedition and internal disorders bring total ruin to a nation and leave it unable to resist the enemy, so also if our heart is inwardly troubled and disturbed, it loses both the strength necessary to hold on to the virtues it has acquired and the means to resist the temptations of the enemy. We then use up our energies fishing in troubled waters, as they say.
The present life is given to us only to earn eternal life. If we forget this, we tend to concentrate all our affections on the things of this world, where we are but birds of passage. So it happens that when we have to leave this world we become frightened and upset. Believe me, if we want to live as happy pilgrims, we must always have in our hearts the hope of finally reaching that country where we will settle down forever. But at the same time we must believe, and believe with all our hearts (this is a most sacred truth!), that God keeps a loving eye on us as we walk toward Him, and never lets anything happen to us that is not for our greater good.
Try to nourish within yourself the spirit of gentleness, of holy joy and humility, which is the most apt path toward union with God. Do not get upset about this or that but walk in the way of union with great confidence in the mercy of God, Who will lead you by the hand right to your heavenly home. In the meantime, keep well clear of arguments and avoidable disputes.
Be careful and attentive to all the matters God has committed to your care, but if possible do not be solicitous or worried; that is, do not burden yourself over them with uneasiness or anxiety. This worry only disturbs reason and good judgment and prevents you from doing well the very things you are worried about...A job done anxiously and hurriedly is never done well; we must do things with coolness and calm.
With gentleness and peace, make your small efforts to better serve the Divine Goodness, but do not be frightened by the difficulties that crop up. What good, what precious thing has ever been obtained without effort and hard work? On our part, it is only necessary to remain faithful to our resolution to reach the perfection of holy love by doing all we can to make it perfect. If we do not do that we are not aiming very high.
your brother in Christ,
Francis de Sales