At the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer at Mass, the priest prays the familiar words, “protect us from all anxiety.” Anxiety visits most people’s lives, but sometimes it spikes due to events like this week’s turmoil among major Wall Street banks and insurers.

While it is too early to tell the extent of this financial crisis, economists point out that the nation’s economy is fundamentally sound. Inflation and unemployment remain relatively low, even while home foreclosures and lowered home values, together with high prices for food and fuel, point to the proverbial rainy day.

Fixed-income investors such as the elderly generally hold insured bank deposits and annuities. These low-risk securities don’t grow dramatically during bright economic times, but they do shield investors from significant loss when the economy turns downward. So if pensions are conservatively invested, they’re safe even during a financial crisis. Younger working people face challenges in a sluggish economy but also good reason for confidence in employment, education and their own long-term savings plans.

Faithful people do not dwell on anxiety but hold on to hope, mindful of the up-and-down cycle of our economic system. United by the communion we share in our Lord’s Eucharistic sacrifice, we pray with the priest at Mass as “we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.”