Today’s Thoughts: After praying with today’s readings the question that I asked myself is, "What do I most fear?" In answering this question, I came up with many examples of things that at time cause me to be afraid. Sometimes I fear the future because of the state of the world, all the anger, hate, discontent, violence and the everyday possibility of war that seems to make up our everyday life. I sometimes fear the future of our Church because of all the things that have happened over the last 15 or 20 years. As a priest and a religious I am afraid of the future of religious life and priesthood. These are just some of the things that I fear there are many others that I will not mention in this short reflection.
However, the question that I asked is what do I fear most at this moment of my life? As I said this question is based on the readings today, they both deal with fear. In the first reading, (1 John 4:11-18), John talks about perfect love casting out fear, in the Gospel, (Mark 6:45-52), Jesus tells the disciples to have courage and not fear. Yet fear always seems to be a part of life.
I know for myself, fear has always raised its ugly head. I remember my mother talking about her life just before I was born. She said that it was a time when she struggled with fear. My mother, father and sister had just move back to the Pittsburgh area into a new home. It was in a new subdivision about 15 miles outside of Pittsburgh, only a few homes were built and there were very few people in the neighborhood. Mom had no phone for a while, no car and spent a good portion of the day lone with my sister who was about 5 years old. Mom always said it was a fearful time in her life. I have often wondered if, as a baby in her womb that I was affected by her struggle with fear, because once I came into the world it seemed I was afraid of everything including my own shadow.
"What am I most afraid of?" In my life I could still say many things as an answer to this question. But I have come to believe that I am most afraid of love, not being loved, not finding love. I think it is because I realize that with love fear would not be a problem, yet fear is a problem for me. I think it is because I struggle with love.
Both Jesus and John tell us that today, if we love, if we allow ourselves to be loved, especially by God then fear will never hurt us, because love casts out fear. With love there is no room for fear without love fear takes up all the room.
No matter what life throws at us, no matter what changes take place in religious life, the church, culture, society, no matter what we lose or struggle with in life, if we let love in, if we value the presence of love, if we let ourselves love and be loved fear has no chance, no room!
Have a great Wednesday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...