As a young Jesuit, I have often struggled with feeling anxiety about doing something wrong, or of harming my relationship with God. This is exhausting, and makes life become a perilous dance of trying to avoid making a mistake.

This way of following God is fundamentally wrong. We are called to live out of love for God, and love of others, not out of fear of messing up. This is the call the apostles experienced, and that we also receive. Love is not about fearful obligation, or making sure everything is done right. Love is about freedom, thanksgiving, and generosity.

So today, if you are being hard on yourself, turn to Jesus and imagine if he really thinks the same way. Let him embrace you, tell you how he loves you, and then walk with you as you get beyond your guilt and fears to love him, to yourself, and others.

—Chris Williams, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.