Kathy Bernard - Publisher


He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honor him. - Psalm 91:15

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand'  and “I will not leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down, or relax My hold on you!  Assuredly not!” ( Hebrews 13:5 - Isaiah 41:10) 

These are two unequivocal and absolute statements in Isaiah and Hebrews that carries us through the darkness of life and give us assurance that God is our supernatural parent Who watches over us.  Because we are His creation, He promises to give us the grace to sustain all things.   It is a constant that is there forever.  We may be persecuted, but we will not be abandoned, we may be struck down, but not destroyed.


Can you accept this? 


God is our mighty bulwark during times of pain, sorrow, lack of money, betrayal, or whatever life brings, for He is the anchor promised to us. And so, in times of great fear when enemies paralyze and numb the spirit read Deuteronomy 31:6, which says, Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them, for the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” 


Fr. Robert J Carr, presently the pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Somerville, MA, and editor of Catholicsmanew has this to say:   "Fear can approach us from many avenues. Maybe we have an unexpected letter or phone call that gives us potential bad news.  Now this is what fear highlights, what potentially could happen.  If fear takes over our lives, we become crippled by it, afraid of what potentially may happen, when in fact, it may not happen at all.  This is the first element of fear. It may happen or it may not.  Yet, when we focus on what may happen to be, what will happen, we become crippled by that anticipation.  We are disabled by fear.  Yet, God has always told us not to fear at all.  Why? Because the future belongs to Him!  He is in charge of our future and, therefore, when we are afraid, we do so by not trusting Him. God has the potential of doing anything to change the potential path of any element of our lives.  Yet, we have to understand this within the context of whom we are.


“Why is it so bad to succumb to fear?  Simply look at what the Apostles did when they succumbed to fear, they abandoned Christ. When we succumb to fear we do the same thing. We focus on the potential of what will happen and take our eyes off of Christ. This is why fear is so poisonous to our spiritual life and our relationship with Christ. Fear cuts off our relationship with Christ.


"What does the psalmist do? He says he will not fear because the Lord is his light and salvation. What is the opposite of fear: trust. No matter what happens to us we need to put our trust in Christ because he does indeed care for us. I have dealt with people who become literally so crippled by fear that they enter a dark emotional hole and never come out of it.


""Jesus tells us that perfect love casts out fear. That goes both ways, we trust in His love for us and we do not fear no matter what may happen. This allows our love to grow for him which casts our fear….St. James tells us to consider it pure joy when we experience difficulties for through those difficulties our faith is growing.  This is why we must never fear what may happen, because the more we trust in God, the more whatever happens will lead us closer to Christ.


""Yet, when we choose not to fear, we go against all our instincts.  Kind of like when I parachuted in California.  The minute I let go of the wing on the plane at 3000 feet and 90mph, although in my head I knew what I was doing, it was like every cell of my body cried out that I just did something stupid.  I had just jumped after all out of a perfectly good airplane.


"That is similar to what happens when we choose to trust while the rest of our body tells us to stay silent and mind our own business.  We go through that painful period where we choose to obey our fears or obey our Lord.  When we choose the latter, great things happen, when we choose the former, we lose everything and become enslaved to the whims of evil. Yet, when we choose to do God’s will despite our fears, great surprises happen.


“…When we focus on Christ we dismiss our fears and act on His truth. When we focus on our fears we abandon Christ and become a slave to fear and intimidation.  Perfect Love casts out all fear and leads us closer to Christ in total trust.”  Please visit Fr. Robert J Carr: http://blog.cancaonova.com/catholicismanew/2008/05/06/do-not-fear  for a complete reading on this subject.  Fr. Carr has been working on Catholicism Anew since 2001.


Sometimes we get so caught up in our misery, we cannot see beyond it.  It becomes a litany that takes over our lives and outshouts the peace God wants us to have.  Friends turn away, fearful of being too close to our realities, and they become frightened for themselves.  They too, are carrying their own crosses.  But, we as Christians must not forget we have the antidote for anything life tosses our way.  We have Jesus Christ Who promises never to leave us and through Him we have access to our most powerful advocate in our Heavenly Father.  Instead of being crushed by fear, spend time in prayer, calling on His Holy Name.   This is the moment we must carry life's crosses and put them into His powerful hands, letting Him shine sunlight into those dark corners of life we fearfully face. 


Telling a story of faith in the following, Father Paul Keenan says: “I first came into contact with this story several years ago when I was interviewing Dr. Wayne Dyer on a radio program I was hosting. Dr. Dyer wrote a book called "A Promise Is a Promise," a true story of a mother who has cared for a comatose daughter for many years.  Well, the many years is now 37 years, and 79-year-old Kate O'Bara continues to care for her daughter Edwarda who for many years has been in a diabetic coma. Her care is the fulfillment of a promise. As she was slipping into unconsciousness, Edwarda appealed to her mother, "Mommy, don't ever leave me."  "I will never leave you," was her mother's reply, and Kate O' Bara has kept that promise steadfastly since 1970.


"When we hear Kate O'Bara say to her daughter, "I will never leave you," can we not at the same time hear the words of Jesus saying, "Behold, I am with you always"?  For that is the great promise He has given to us. No matter how dark our days, no matter how bleak our prospects seem to be, that promise is there, "I am with you always." Like Edwarda, as we slip into the darkness of life, we cry out to the Lord, "Please don't leave me." And His answer is there for all time, for all eternity, really—"I am with you always."


A priest for over 31 years, Father Paul Keenan served in diverse parts of New York City, from the Lower East Side to Hell's Kitchen to the Garment District. He was last assigned to The Church of Our Lady of Peace in Manhattan, where he assisted as a parish priest. His talks, retreats and seminars are well known for their ability to bring religious insight and a positive mindset to the issues of the day.  He was Director of Radio Ministry for the Archdiocese of New York and co-host of "Religion on the Line" on WABC Radio for fourteen years, and moved on to do his inspirational show on The Catholic Channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. From 1992 to 2002, he hosted "As You Think," a weekly inspirational radio program on which celebrities such as Larry King, Dick Cavett, Steve Allen, Harry Smith, Deepak Chopra, Annette Funicello, Joyce Randolph and Thomas Moore spoke informally with Father Paul about spirituality and inspiration. He served as commentator for such national broadcasts as the funeral of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (CBS Television); the funeral of Mother Teresa (CBS Radio Network); the visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Louis (ABC Radio News). He was the co-anchor for the ABC News Radio coverage of the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election and consecration of Pope Benedict XVI. Father Paul was the Papal Expert for ABC News Radio's coverage of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI and an anchor for the papal visit coverage of The Catholic Channel/Sirius 159. http://fatherpaul.com/about.cfm .   Father Keenan passed away on June 10, 2008 just three days before his 62nd birthday.


In each life there comes a time when nothing seems to come out right, and troubles pile up, leaving us lost and afraid, lonely and bereft.  We forget even to pray for we feel we have been isolated, adrift on a sea of turmoil.  It is then you must find a quiet place to seek the healing presence of God, for in this communion with Him you will realize that God has been carrying you all along.  But you must believe it and continue in confidence.


Fr. Edward Beck is a writer and Roman Catholic Priest from the Passionist Community and living in New York City.  He relates, “A number of years ago, when my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I remember how angry I was with God.  My mother was only 50 years old.  It didn’t seem fair.  How could God do this?  Why didn’t God prevent it?


I remember going for a run to clear my head and yelling at God about God’s seeming indifference. I screamed into the night air,  “You fix this!  Now!” Yeah, I know, it was a bit arrogant.  In some ways, I think I had already lost hope before the ordeal had even kicked into high gear.


"'But, interestingly, my mother, a woman of real faith, who had known her share of challenges in her life, held on to hope from the very beginning.  She didn’t cry.  She didn’t break down.  She said God would bring her through this okay.  And she really believed it.  My father and brother: they weren’t so sure.  I, the priest son, wasn’t so sure. But my mother was.  And her faith and hope saw us through that traumatic ordeal with grace.


"'The only time there was a little crack in that armor was the morning they shaved her head for the surgery. When we went back into the room, there sat my now hairless mother in the bed, crying for the first time since this whole ordeal had begun. My father and brother looked at me…as if I the priest should know what to do at a time like this. So, I went to my mother’s bedside and began to try to shore her up—theologically.


"'I said, 'Mother, you really can’t lose hope at this point. You’ve come this far. God is faithful and will see you through this. You’ve got to keep your faith. It will be all right.'


"'My mother stopped crying and looked at me and said, 'Edward, I know all of that.”  And I said, “But you haven’t been this upset since we learned about this.


"'And she looked at me and said, 'I just paid $50.00 for that permanent'!

'And we all laughed, including my mother. And the laughter in that hospital room that morning was holy because it uncovered the holiness of my mother for all of us to see. She really was that rooted in her faith. That filled with hope.  And she passed on her faith and hope to the rest of us. Happily, the tumor was removed and these days my mother is enjoying retirement in Florida with my golf-obsessed father.


"'Now, I know it doesn’t always have a happy ending when we’re presented with such challenges.  And some of you have had circumstances in your lives where hope didn’t seem to be enough. But I think that hope remains important no matter what the circumstances or the outcome, because often it changes us."

Father Beck’s books include God Underneath and the soon to be released Soul Provider -  Spiritual Steps to Limitless Love.  He is working on a new screenplay and television pilot, and travels throughout the United States and the world leading retreats and workshops. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Spirituality/father-edward-beck-delivers-weekly-inspiration/story?id=9053312&page=3 


Remain constant in your faith.  Do not get discouraged when the burdens you carry become heavy.  Trust even when you cannot see the end of your trials.  Be certain that He has not forgotten you for He knows you so well He even counts each hair on your head.  Never will He leave or abandon you for His promises and His mercy endures forever.


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage;
not be afraid,
nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God
is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9



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