Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid November 19, 2015

As a child, I was sexually abused and bullied at school, both of which were the root of fear in my life.

I have gone to therapy for the last couple of years and worked out some of those fears. They had multiplied throughout my life into fears of not being a good mom, a good Catholic, of the fact that my children aren’t all practicing the Faith, fear of being fat, of being too much of a hot mess to be able to evangelize anyone, of cussing, and so many other things. The bottom line, I have spent a lot of my 5 years as a Catholic, scared of being myself because I thought that who I am is not good enough to be a Catholic. {I’m a lot to handle, just ask my husband}

I have lived with deep rooted fear of not being good enough and fear of abandonment my entire life, I know what fear looks like in action. I know how it feels to act out of fear. When I look around on Social Media, I see a lot of fear driven statuses, tweets, memes and comments. I am really not that shocked, but it is sad to see it come from people who profess faith in God. Nothing about acting in fear says “My God is a big God”. And that is exactly what our lives should be saying. Not our words, but our lives.

Look at the lives of the Saints, everything about them said “My God is a big God” and that is why they are saints. Mother Teresa once threatened to drive through bombs to save a hospital full of disabled children. She was so serious that the two sides fighting called a ceasefire to let her through! St. Joan of Arc died by being burned at the stake by fellow Catholics and she sang God’s praises the fire was lit. St. Ignatius of Antioch told his followers NOT to stop his death even though he knew he was being sent to get eaten by lions.  St. Peter went back to Rome to be martyred after he had been freed from prison by an angel. He could have kept walking after meeting Jesus on that road, but he didn’t, He turned back and happily gave his life up. We are Catholic for God’s sake, we do not fear death. We follow a God who has defeated death, or do we only remember that at Easter in hymns but have no intention on living a life that says we actually believe it?

What the world needs is saints. Catholic saints! Saints who are not scared of death because they know Who they belong to. The difference between us and crazy people who blow themselves up is that we risk our lives serving others, not kill ourselves to harm others. Serving refugees without fearing for our lives is how we combat terrorism on a big  scale.

But that battles begins in each of our own hearts first. A wise man, one of the holiest that I’ve ever met, told me that our actions are signs of our inner condition. We can’t help anyone if we have not had a conversion of heart and come to encounter Jesus and know Him. That is always the first step of not being afraid.

Yesterday’s Gospel was Jesus telling the scared disciples “Be not Afraid”, I think that message was for all of us right now.

"Of all the stunning and brave that never happened this never happened the most."

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