As a quick aside, I am constantly evaluating how much time I spend online and usually deciding that it is way too much, but don't do anything about it. Kim has written an excellent post here after a week-long sabbatical from being online. Much food for thought.
Back to prayer. My college years were also filled with anxiety. I attended church frequently and stayed close to God in general, but I didn't lay things at His feet the way I do now. He reminded me to turn to Him in interesting ways, though. One summer, I spent a month studying in Mexico, and on either side of that trip, I worked for a State of Nebraska employee in a very bizarre internship. I compiled a few reports for him, but spent most of my time assisting his wife, who ran a Kumon Math Institute. There was a large poster in the bathroom of that office building with these words:
On To The End
Do not be disconcerted by the fits of vexation and uneasiness which are sometimes produced by the multiplicity of your worries. No, indeed, dearest child, all these are but opportunities of strengthening yourself in the loving forbearing graces which our Lord sets before us.
Be patient with everyone, but above all, with yourself. I mean, do not be disturbed because of your imperfections and always rise bravely from a fall. I am glad that you make a daily new beginning; there is no better means of progress in the spiritual life than to be continually beginning afresh, and never to think we have done enough.
Go on in all simplicity; do not be so anxious to win a quiet mind, and it will be all the quieter. Do not examine so closely into the progress of your soul. Do not crave so much to be perfect, but let your spiritual life be formed by your duties – and by the actions which are called forth by circumstances. Do not take over much thought for tomorrow. God Who has led you safely on so far, will lead you on to the end.
St. Frances de Sales
I have returned to these words that I scrawled in a notebook so many years ago time and time again. I'm amazed at how frequently I take away something different that I never noticed before. Today it was this part: "let your spiritual life be formed by your duties – and by the actions which are called forth by circumstances." God knows my circumstances, and he knows my weaknesses and limitations. His grace is enough to sustain me, though. And for that, I give thanks!
Learn more about St. Francis de Sales here, and the image and more info can be found here.
(PS - I think I'm going to link this up to Gratituesday tomorrow.)