Be Not Afraid
by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield
Quite often our Spiritual journeys find us facing changes of direction in our lives. Regardless of the particular directional change, a fundamental similarity is that we all experience different degrees of uncertainty towards the future. The key to a successful spiritual life is our attitude towards handling uncertainty. Whether is it the uncertainty of a serious illness; the insecurity of job loss or even facing life after the death of friend or loved one, these challenges give us a unique understanding and insight into our spiritual attitude and even a greater perspective about our faith.
A Call to Understanding
How do you handle uncertainty? Each of us comes to every situation differently and we react in our own way depending on the circumstances. Many people will fret about things and see all the negative possibilities. I observed this attitude in the popular media when the Conclave elected Pope Benedict XVI. The internet was full of "gloom and doom" opinions. From nasty cartoons to predictions of the demise of the Catholic Church, the popular media was awash in this negative thinking. What was obviously missing from every article or website that I read was "faith in God." In fact, most of these comments were often God-less.
There are "Spirit-filled" ways to embrace these changes of direction that can result in our praising God for the promises of new opportunities. Of course, these reactions are very dissimilar to the modern culture and give evidence of a trust in our Roman Catholic Church and a fundamental faith in God. We are called to live the grace of our Baptism and move with confidence knowing we are unconditionally loved by God in all situations.
The Personal Journey
It is my hope and prayer that all who read these words know the absolute importance of having the Holy Spirit as the guide in their life's journey. A life in the Spirit allows us to experience peaceful emotions in times of uncertainty. Regardless of the "naysayer" mentality in the popular culture broadcasts, we know that the Spirit is always with us-in every situation. The late John Paul II lived this way and made it evident in his book, "Splendor of Truth." John Paul II's words, "Be Not Afraid" give us the strength for our personal journey of faith.
John Paul calls us not be afraid to trust God. Not being afraid means living a life of true faith. It is a challenge to ask ourselves and those around us, "Do you really believe that you are always in God's hands?" My friends in the Cursillo Movement often use the challenge "Let go and let God." These are great words, today and everyday. Letting go to God will help us stand for the right values like living a culture of life in the face of the culture of death that surrounds us.
Say "yes" to Jesus as the Lord of your life. Live a life of peace in all situations. After all, Jesus' first words to the gathered Apostles after the Resurrection were "Peace be with you." (John 20:26) It is my prayer that all of you will find God's peace in all you do and thus face a life of hope and joy without the burden of fear.
For Your Reflection
From a Ministry Perspective:
- Where in my life do I most need to "Let go and let God" so that I can more appreciate the community I am serving?
- How do I show the words of John Paul II "Be Not Afraid" to those whom I am called to minister?
From a Family Perspective:
- In my Domestic Church, as parent, sibling, widow or single, how can I show words of John Paul II "Be Not Afraid" to those I love?
- Where does my family most need to Let go and let God" to sanctify our Domestic Church?
I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.
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