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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Do Not Be Afraid: Courage in Ordinary Life
Do Not Be Afraid: Courage in Ordinary Life PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Saturday, 21 June 2008 01:56

In the Gospel of the Mass (Matt 10:26-33) Our Lord tells us not to be afraid, but to live as children of God. At times we come across people who are tormented and overwhelmed by the hardships that life brings with it. The adverse circumstances and the obstacles seem only to grow when one relies on human resources alone in order to overcome them.


We also frequently meet Christians who seem to be ashamed of speaking clearly about God, of saying no to falsehood and, whenever necessary, of showing themselves to be faithful disciples of Christ. They are afraid of what people will say, of a critical remark, of going against the current or of drawing attention to themselves. Is it possible for a Christian not to draw attention to himself in a pagan environment, where so often economic values are the supreme values?


Jesus tells us not to be concerned about possible slander or criticism. Do not be afraid of men, for everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What a shame if it were to be discovered that we were afraid of proclaiming to the four corners of the world the truth that God has entrusted to us! What I say to you in the dark, tell it in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops. At times we will keep silent because that is the best thing to do, for reasons of supernatural prudence, or charity, but never out of fear or cowardice.

 

Is it possible for a Christian not to draw attention to himself in a pagan environment, where so often economic values are the supreme values?

We Christians are not friends of darkness and hidden corners; we are friends of light, of openness in our lives and in our words. The times we live in are such that we need to proclaim the truth clearly. Falsehood and confusion are leading many souls astray. It seems absurd, but at times even good doctrine, the moral norms of behavior – following one’s conscience in our work and in the demands of married life, common sense itself – are held in less esteem than some scandalous, erroneous doctrine, which is held to be ‘advanced’ or tinged with a progressive hue.


We shouldn’t be afraid of losing the gloss of a superficial prestige, or of being criticized or even slandered because we go against the current or what happens to be fashionable. If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven, Our Lord says. He rewards us fully for all those times when people do not understand us because we try to live bravely, with holy daring, in a world which is frequently unable to understand anything except purely material values.


I consider, says Saint Paul, that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Rom 8:18). Therefore, Saint Cyprian comments, who would not make the effort to achieve such great glory, to become a friend of God, to possess Christ immediately, to receive the divine rewards after the anguish and torments of the earth? If for the soldiers of this world it is glorious to return home after humbling the enemy, how much more glorious and praiseworthy will it be to return in triumph to heaven once the devil is overcome...; to bear aloft the signs of victory...; to be seated at God’s side when He comes in judgment, be co-heir with Christ, to rank with the angels, and with the Patriarchs, the Apostles and the Prophets; to rejoice in the possession of the Kingdom of Heaven...? (St Cyprian, Letter to Fortunatus, 13). # # #

 

With permission from Scepter UK.  Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez.  
 Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore.cominfo@totusbookstore.com


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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 June 2008 02:02
 

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