Friday, December 02, 2011

Be Not Afraid - St. Louis Jesuits & Bob Dufford, S.J.

Praying thanks for this Morning, turning my back on the darkness of night towards the light of day, the light of hope, the light of life and love.... All of which are the light of God!

It amuses me at times when I realize what a slow learner I am! I'm not necessarily slow all the time, but it seems that when learning some of life's important lessons, I'm horrifically slow! I've even blogged about this before, so one would think that I'd get it.... that I wouldn't continue to fail. The failure I'm speaking of is not epic... it's merely a result of being human, of being weak.

I recently heard or read (and Lord knows I wish I could remember the exact words) that to worry, is to sin. Those words made me sit up and take notice. Upon closer look however, I wonder... at these times, and I really worrying... or is my conscience speaking to me? My gut tells me the right answer is a combination of the two.

When my conscience is bothering me, I often wake up in the darkest point of night and begin to fret. The darkness of the night seems to nurture the anxiety, and I am soon in the clutches of panic and fear. At these times it's hard for me to remember to as God for help. I do pray... and usually fall into a restless sleep, relieved to hear the alarm and to "get away" from my anxious thoughts. And during these times, when I'm out with the dogs... I find comfort in looking to the eastern skies, where a beautiful pink glow is forming. The sun is rising... and soon the darkness has faded and the light of a new day gives me hope. The symbolism is obvious... the relief and comfort are real.

I recently read: "The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us the need to trust in God in our troubles, to pray humbly, without presumption but with hope, and not to give up when the answer doesn't seem to come."

From "The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2830 "Our bread": The Father who gives us life cannot not but give us the nourishment life requires - all appropriate goods and blessings, both material and spiritual. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus insists on the filial trust that cooperates with our Father's providence. He is not inviting us to idleness, but wants to relieve us from nagging worry and preoccupation. Such is the filial surrender of the children of God: To those who seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he has promised to give all else besides. Since everything indeed belongs to God, he who possesses God wants for nothing, if he himself is not found wanting before God."

From the New Testament: Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Gary Zimak writes in "Does God Want Us To Worry?": "One of the most difficult problems that we must deal with in our earthly life is fear. We are anxious about many things and spend a lot of time worrying, often about events over which we have no control. In his initial speech as Holy Father, Pope John Paul II repeated the phrase “Be Not Afraid” three times. "

Which reminds me of one of my favorite hymns: "Be Not Afraid". Here are the lyrics of "Be Not Afraid" followed by a video:

You shall cross the barren desert,
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety,
though you do not know the way.

You shall speak your words in foreign lands,
and all will understand,
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters
in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amidst the burning flames,
you shall not be harmed.

If you stand before the pow’r of hell
and death is at your side,
know that I am with you, through it all

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

Blessed are your poor,
for the Kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn,
for one day you shall laugh.

And if wicked men insult and hate you, all because of Me,
blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.


Forgive me for my weaknesses... for my propensity for worry. Please lift me up, make me stronger so that I can be a better child of God...


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