The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:5-7).

St Paul…bids the Christians in Philippi to carry all their sorrows and fears to the throne of Christ.

He specially bids them remember the nearness of our Lord; and the freedom we may use in speaking with Him.

And in so doing he has taught us a great and blessed truth, needful for all men, in all ages: I mean, that a life of prayer is a life of peace.

It is not in times of persecution only, but at all times, that the presence and fellowship of Christ are the peace and consolation of the Church.

We are born into a world of perturbations; we carry them in our own heart.

The world is the counterpart of man’s fallen nature, turbulent, restless, and distracted.

Every man gives in his contribution of disquietude; and the life of most men is made up of cares and doubts, perplexities and forebodings, of fruitless regrets for follies past, and of exaggerated thoughts of trials yet to come.

On men who live without God in the world these things press sorely. They fret and wear them without alleviation.

This is the “sorrow of the world” that “worketh death.” It is a bitter and embittering disquiet of heart.

The plague of evil thoughts, inordinate cravings, disappointments and losses, vain hopes and wearing fears, these are by nature the portion of us all.

[…] St Paul here tells us, first of all, that there is One, ever near us, who can fulfil all our desire, and over-rule all things in our behalf. “The Lord is at hand.”

How soon He may reveal Himself in person we know not; but soon or late, it is certain, that although unseen, He is ever near us.

His presence departed not from the Church when He ascended into heaven.

He is withdrawn from the eyes of our flesh; but in the sight of our hearts He is always visible.

Though He be at the right hand of God, yet He is in the Church, and in our secret chamber.

Though He is the Lord of heaven and earth, yet He is ever in the midst of us, watching and guiding, disposing all things for the perfection of His kingdom, and, in it, of each one of us.

He is both able and willing to fulfil all our hearts’ desires; and nothing is hid from His sight.

H.E. Cardinal Manning (1808-1892): Sermons, vol. 3, serm. 13 (“A Life of Prayer a Life of Peace”).