Saturday 6 January 2024



Father Ignatius had been tendering to his flock at St Vincent Church for years. He knew them all, the young, the old, the not-so-young and the infants still in their prams and push-chairs. He visited them often at their homes and shared their joys, their hopes, their fears and their doubts.

He observed that they all seemed to have one thing in common – they always worried about something or other. And in most cases, it was un-warranted worries about matters which may not even happen anyway.

Some worried about the economic situation and how they would make ends meet, or whether they'll lose their jobs, or be able to find a job even. Others worried about their families, their children, or the state of their marriage and life. Many worried about their health or some other problems - some real and some just imagined.

They came to him, his flock of sheep, day after day, week after week, with their problems and worries. Seeking his advice or sometimes just to unload their heavy weights on someone else. And as ever, he was always approachable, giving advice where he could, and praying with them for God's guidance and enlightenment.

One Sunday, whilst delivering his sermon he acknowledged that times were hard and that it was understandable when people worried about many things. He tactfully pointed out that more often than not, their worries were unnecessary since their fears never materialised anyway.

He reminded them that excessive worry showed a certain lack of Faith in God. A sure sign that we don’t believe He can help us. An insult even to His omnipotent power and His eternal love for us – His children.

Then, as if enlightened himself by a Higher Authority, he suggested something unusual to his congregation.

“Trust me on this,” said Father Ignatius in his gentle reassuring voice.

He asked the parishioners that the following Sunday everyone should bring with them to church a stone or a rock to which they should tie securely a label.

On the label they should describe briefly the nature of their problem or their worries – anonymously of course.

The stone or rock should be the size commensurate to the size or magnitude of their problem.

The following Sunday, sure enough, they all brought their rocks which they left outside the church.

There were small rocks, bigger ones, stones of all shapes and sizes and even a few pebbles tied inside a handkerchief to denote a lot of small problems.

One or two jokers even brought big boulders in wheelbarrows to show how huge their problems were.

During the sermon Father Ignatius said that he had read all the labels tied to the rocks and stones. He added that he had prayed about his parishioners’ worries and problems and that in prayer, God had spoken to him.

Father Ignatius asked the congregation to pick up any stone or rock outside the church on their way home, and in return, with prayers, God would help them, as long as they were willing to take on the problem written on the rock they had picked.

After Mass, they all went out, and after reading all the labels, they each picked a stone or rock and went home.

Each one of them had picked the same rock or stone they had brought with them to church that morning.


  1. Interesting story...I guess they realized their problems were not as bad as some other people's problems, so they preferred their own to theirs! Great story! I love it! I was kind of hoping they would just leave the rocks with their problems there and be set free! Or throw them into the river and let them be washed clean...but either way, "God would help them..." I need to remember this when I start trying to carry burdens I'm not meant to carry. Have a blessed and wonderful day my friend.

    1. We all carry burdens, Pamela. Some are real, and many are imagined as we worry about things that may not happen anyway. The priest was trying to teach here that people should see things in their true perspective. Indeed, as you say, God will wash our troubles away if we pray earnestly. He never allows us more difficulties than we can handle. The thing is, to trust Him enough that He will help us in all adversities.

      Yes, you are right; maybe they should have left the rocks there and walk away free from their troubles. That is true Faith in God's help and protection. Thank you, Pamela.

      God bless you and yours always.

  2. ...I try to only be concerned about things that I have control of and that isn't much!

  3. Since I was raised in a church parsonage and my dad was a dedicated pastor. His church was his family. With the logic the good Father uses he coulda been my dad. too bad you did not learn more from Father Ignatius.
    Sorta wondering is the writer who 'discovered' Father I ever knew a priest with such love for his flock....mmmmm ?
    The BEST to you my friend, methinks it was a good day when I met you..... Thanks for the prayers ALWAYS!

    1. Thank you for the nice things you say, Jack. Yes, you are right; I have known two or three priests who are like Father Ignatius. It was years ago. Priests who would go out of their way, and travel long distances physically and metaphorically, to help an individual in distress. Even if that individual is not a member of their congregation. A number of the Father Ignatius stories are based on true facts about these priests.

      I'm so glad we met on the Internet, Jack. I've learnt a lot from you and your Blog. Thank you.

      Praying for you all. God bless.

  4. I loved this story from your latest book, Victor, and it gave me sheer joy to read it again!

    1. Thank you, Martha, for your kind words. Yes, this story is from my latest book "Here I am, Lord." Readers can follow the AMAZON Link for the book on the right hand side column here --->

      I truly appreciate your support, Martha. God bless always.

  5. Yes! Perspective is everything, isn't it?
    This and other stories contained in "Here I Am, Lord" I think are among your best.

    1. Thank you so much, Mevely. You've always been a great supporter of my writings. Truly appreciated.

      God bless you and your family.

  6. Worry is like being in a rocking chair, it feels like you are doing something but you get nowhere. Let the Good Lord do the worrying, so to speak, you just do what you know He wants you to do.

    1. Very wise words, Mimi. Thank you.

      God bless always.



God bless you.