I WILL NOT
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
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
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.
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
"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
"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 Gods 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
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
along. But you must believe it and continue in confidence.
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 didnt seem fair. How could God do this? Why didnt God prevent it?
I remember going for a run to clear my head and yelling at God
about Gods 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 didnt cry. She didnt break down. She said God would bring her through this okay. And she really believed it. My father and brother: they werent so sure. I, the priest son, wasnt 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 mothers bedside and began to try to
shore her uptheologically.
"'I said, 'Mother, you really cant lose hope at this point.
Youve come this far. God is faithful and will see you through this. Youve 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
havent been this upset since we learned about this.
"'And she looked at me and said, 'I just paid $50.00 for that
"'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 doesnt always have a happy ending when
were presented with such challenges. And
some of you have had circumstances in your lives where hope didnt 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 Becks 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
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