Thursday, October 22, 2015

Just Don't

Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. 
Do not be afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “that which is in man”. He alone knows it.  See more here
This is part of the second reading in the Office of Readings for the feast of Pope St. John Paul II, and it comes from the homily at his inaugural.

I chose this particular passage for two reasons. One is that like so many angels in the Bible, St. John Paul encouraged us from the very beginning to let go of our fear. I don't think we listened!

Fear is ubiquitous these days both in the political and religious realms. I think that our zeitgeist is Chick Little. The reason for our lack of fear is not that bad things will not happen--they will--but because the One who calls us to endure them is with us and He is completely trustworthy. If anyone ever suffered the evils that men perpetrate on one another, it was St. John Paul, and yet, after living through the tragedies of World War II and the Communist regime in Poland he still tells us, "Do not be afraid."

The second reason I chose the passage is in that second paragraph. It sounds a little like Pope Francis, doesn't it?

Fear is one of the most damaging emotions of all. On one hand it can paralyze us. On the other, it can cause us to run around in a frenzy accomplishing nothing. In Twelve-step programs they will tell you fear is the chief activator of our faults. If you start watching for this in your life, you will see that it is true.

We are told in 2 Timothy, chapter 1 that, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Sound minds seem to be in short supply lately. We need to ask the Lord to give us a sound mind and that power of the Lord that St. John Paul spoke of in another passage in his homily.
...a power that has its source not in the powers of this world, but instead in the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection. 
The absolute, and yet sweet and gentle, power of the Lord responds to the whole depths of the human person, to his loftiest aspirations of intellect, will and heart. It does not speak the language of force, but expresses itself in charity and truth.  
The new Successor of Peter in the See of Rome today makes a fervent, humble and trusting prayer: Christ, make me become and remain the servant of your unique power, the servant of your sweet power, the servant of your power that knows no dusk.


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