everything happens for a reason
I am by no means a devout Catholic. By definition, maybe: I go to a Catholic University, pray every night, attend mass every Sunday evening, and sing in my school's choir. But I am catholic enough to know that these things by themselves do not mean anything. Religion, to me, is about knowing God and following him in your life, which not only means praying, reading the Bible, and doing good works, but also accepting your life as God has planned it and truly understanding the meaning of "everything happens for a reason".
The whole trusting God thing has never come easy to me, and I definitely am not there yet, as shown by my recent existential crisis I wrote about last week. But not fully trusting God is not the only reason I consider myself a not-so-devout-catholic. I have endless qualms about the Catholic Church and don't necessarily ascribe to its policies on abortion, gay marriage, or the whole women-not-being-able-to-be-priests thing. In my opinion that is a load of crap. But, I digress. I'll save those qualms for another odyssey article.
Even though I may not be "devout", I still greatly value the role of religion in my life. As I grow older, I find great comfort in reading and re-reading certain passages from my grandfather's old Bible whose binding smells like his house. The verses that I've included below are ones that helped me find trust in God and in a world that is often confusing and saddening. Even if you're not religious, it might be worth looking them over. I don't thing you have to agree with the Catholic Church, or even believe in a god, to take lessons from the Bible and apply them to your own life. You don't have to believe in much, but it helps to believe in something.
Psalm 46: 1-3, 5, 7-10
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
God is within her, she will not fall: God will help her at break of day.
Come and see the worlds of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God.
Matthew 6: 25
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; nor about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?
...your Heavenly Father knows that you need [these things]. But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4, 8, 9-11
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance...a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end....whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.