It's still raining. Flooding in areas South of us. Houston is suffering. Sigh. Please pray for Texas.
I want to talk to you today about IRRATIONAL FEAR. We are all afraid of something. When you are a child, you fear being separated from your parents... or maybe you fear needles (ok, I still don't like them). As you grow up, you fear a broken heart, the loss of your children, parents, finances, world news... the list is long.
*** Please note, I am not talking about knowing DANGER kind of fear. As in, you should be afraid to step off the curb into oncoming traffic. I am talking about fear of the unknown that would make you NOT do something you are meant to do.
I'm here to tell you that the wrong kind of Fear is irrational and can be debilitating. I know this because it is perhaps one of my biggest sins - living in fear. God tells us not to. He is with us. HE will protect us, but we get sucked into fear, through insecurity or lack of trust. And it's NOT a good thing. Irrational fear is about trusting the devil more than God. Oh yes. yes it is.
I have not gone to weddings and big events because I am heavy and I'm afraid of how people will perceive me. I have not pursued writing books and many things that I am capable of doing because I am afraid of what people will think. I fear rejection. I fear..... I FEAR!
I read this the other night before bed, in my Magnificat. I posted it on FaceBook and I thought someone may need to hear/read it:
Do not fear those before whom you are now afraid do not fear them, says the Lord, for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from their power. (cf. Jer 42:11) -- Fear is one of the great tactics by which evil tries to prevent the good from speaking out or acting with integrity according to their Christian commitment. It was a constant threat to the early Christians, who staunchly resisted. On the day before Pentecost, we remember especially that Mary strengthened the early Christian community in their courage by praying with them, as she strengthens us today.
I searched on Bible Gateway for FEAR NOT and it got 155 hits. Only, it switched the words around to "not fear"... I am told that "do not be afraid" is in the Bible 365 times. I'm thinking it is TIME to toss fear and live in the Love of God.
Anyway - powerful verses like these:
Isaiah 41:10Do not fear, for I am with you, do be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Do not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.”
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you; do not fear, you shall not die.”
Do not fear the words of sinners, for their splendor will turn into dung and worms.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?
Do not fear death’s decree for you; remember those who went before you and those who will come after.
do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.Matthew 10:28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”
I could go on listing verses. But you have to make a choice to TRUST the Lord. Fear is about lack of trust. Sigh. It's something I realized after reading Melanie Jean Juneau's Article on Catholic365, titled, Do We Trust More in the Power of God or the Devil?
The realization that fear has lead
As a convert, I have found many people in the Catholic Church believe such a wide range of things it is scary. Again, confusing. I have sometimes followed the wrong train of thought - because I liked the person who was teaching me. In the end, however, God has righted my heart. He acknowledged my pain and fear. And he said, "take my hand. Trust in me!"
No doubt, I fear things, but I follow God. To the best of my ability, with the best intentions, as I learn about my faith and purpose, I follow God.
I figure if I want to be a saint some day, I need to get to work. Trusting God is what Saints do.
Prayer I found:
Dear God, give me courage,
for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.
I need courage before men against their threats
and against their seductions.
I need courage to bear unkindness,
I need courage to fight against the devil,
against terrors and troubles, temptations,
attractions, darkness and false lights,
against tears, depression, and above all fear.
I need Your help, dear God.
Strengthen me with Your love and Your grace.
Console me with Your blessed Presence
and grant me the courage to persevere
until I am with You forever in heaven.
If you live in fear. If you lack trust for Our Lord. You are not alone. And HE loves you and protects you regardless. I know that.... because he loves me and I am no more worthy than anyone else. Truly.
As I look around these days, our Pope, friends, in my Magnificat or other readings... the message is "Do Not Be Afraid". We are so blessed. I am so blessed.
Thank you God for enlightening me. May my words enlighten you. Whoever you are.
Bless you and yours,