As college students, anxiety is an inevitable part of life but the thing that we must try to work on is how to handle it. Anxiety deals with unfamiliar situations, angst, or future performances. The problem with this uncertainty unfortunately usually leads the event to actually happen. Saint Francis de Sales gives advice when dealing with it. He says that there is only so much that one can control so there is no point in stressing out about it too much. Instead of letting this stress and anxiety control us, we must choose to use this as a motivational factor. We cannot allow anxiety to disable or distract us, but instead we must focus on the factors in life that we can control.
Love is one of the greatest motivators in life and friendship can be the most dangerous love of all. Friendships are essential in college life. The hard part of this is to determine which friendships are true and which are negative. Friendship can be the best thing in the world but consequently if it goes wrong then it can be the worst thing in the world. True friendships must be mutual, reciprocated, and it must possess good communication. To have a true friendship, it requires both parties to become vulnerable because they must each be open with one another. The danger is that each person can get hurt. For Francis de Sales the most important part that friends should share between each other is virtue.
“By rich in spirit I mean him whose riches engross his mind, or whose mind is buried in his riches. He is poor in spirit whose heart is not filled with the love of riches, whose mind is not set upon them. The halcyon builds its nest like a ball, and leaving but one little aperture in the upper part, launches it on the sea, so secure and impenetrable, that the waves carry it along without any water getting in, and it floats on the sea, superior, so to say, to the waves. And this, my child, is what your heart should be – open only to heaven, impenetrable to riches and earthly treasures.”
Saint Francis is reminding us to not let riches, material items, become something we are engrossed with. The metaphor used is perfect, this bird builds its nest so that it can float about the sea with never letting water get inside. The nest is our spirit/soul and the water is our riches. We can’t let the riches penetrate our spirit because if they do we may become attached and that could lead us to sin. Francis puts it the best we need to keep our heart open to heaven and not let the material items in our world including money become something we are constantly focused on. If you do slip up and close of your heart you need to look to God immediately and ponder why you closed your heart and how you can go back to being as open as God wants you to be.