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Avoid useless labor

Advent Day Nineteen, 2014, Melanie Mowinski

There’s a prayer in the Catholic mass, right after the congregation says the Our Father together where the celebrant prays Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. and then invites the congregation to share a sign of peace–a handshake, hug, kiss.

The part where the celebrant prays to “protect us from all anxiety” was always my favorite line. There was one priest, I think he had been a former Army chaplain, who used to say mass occasionally at Saint Raphael’s in Williamstown.  He always, without fail, altered that prayer to this: Protect us from all useless anxiety, with extra emphasis on the useless part. It simultaneously cracked me up, and inspired me. Today’s collage, while slightly different, is made with that intention in mind. May we all be protected from useless anxiety, useless labor, useless whatever.

Advent Day Nineteen, 2014, Melanie Mowinski

Advent Day Nineteen, 2014, Melanie Mowinski


  1. G says:

    Love the rhythm in this piece.

  2. […] The two lessons that continually circle back to me are learning how to be patient and how not to cultivate useless anxiety. […]

  3. […] definitely fail at this, regularly and often, suffering from incredible amounts of useless anxiety. But right now, this second, to the tips of the little hairs all over my body, I am brimming with […]

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