The name Peter, as many of us know, comes from the Greek word “petros,” meaning “rock.” I used to joke that the name had a double meaning, referring to Peter being the foundation of the Church and referring to Peter’s rock-thick head.
In today’s passage, Peter talks about people being “living stone,” solid yet moving. These living stones become a spiritual house, God’s own chosen people. These people are those who are rid “of all malice, all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.” He refers to people who don’t accept Christians as being like the builders that rejected a stone that became the cornerstone.
The living stones turn into stumbling blocks for them.The last part of today’s passage particularly stands out to me:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
I used to suffer from anxiety attacks. It started when I was in college. I learned some ways to prevent the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as switching out coffee for tea, but after college ended, my anxiety got so bad that I had to take medication as needed for it. The anxiety was triggered by the constant changes happening: changing my major, the death of a beloved teacher and friend, moving back home, graduating.
Then the anxiety continued because I was afraid of the future. I didn’t have a job and still lived at home.Through renewing my faith in Christ, I eventually found a new life outside the safety of a college campus. I volunteered at my parish, I went to a lot of retreats, and eventually I started teaching Catechism to little kids.
I gradually stopped taking my medication because I no longer needed it. As of now, my anxiety attacks only occur once or twice a year, and I can handle them without medication. This is a big difference over what I had to deal with before and what others who have more severe symptoms have to live with on a daily basis.
The healing process started when I offered my anxieties to God. I constantly prayed for the healing of my heart. That healing came in the form of new friends and a renewal of spirit from volunteering and going on retreats. I also sought counseling that helped me to understand where my anxieties were coming from.
Through God, I was brought out of the darkness of my fears for the future and into the light of his magnificent love. Whenever I suffer an anxiety attack (as seldom as they happen), I say that I am shaken, not stirred. (Yes, like the James Bond martini.)
Today, I want to ask that you pray for those who suffer from anxiety on a daily basis. Pray for their healing. Then listen to Matthew West’s “Into the Light.” The story behind that song is also on the playlist. I pray that if you are undergoing any anxieties right now, that God will lead you into the light of his love and make you rock steady, able to be shaken, but never stirred.
Stay solid, dearest sisters in Christ!