Posted by: fvbcdm | January 7, 2016

Feast of Saint Raymond of Peñafort (7 Jan 2016)

When the archangel appeared to Zachary who was to become the father of Saint John the Baptist, he began his message by saying, “Don’t be afraid.” Then, about six months later, when he appeared to Our Blessed Mother, he said to her, “Don’t be afraid.” And then when Saint Joseph became aware that his little fiancee was pregnant, and Joseph was unsure what to do about it, the archangel said to him also: “Don’t be afraid.”

This refrain “Don’t be afraid” is to be found on a number of occasions in sacred history.  When God enters into human life, the human is sometimes intimidated or overwhelmed by the event. But God’s intention is always beneficial, he always comes to help, to comfort, to guide, to save.

Take the problem of scrupulosity, for example.  It is an emotional state which finds it impossible or very difficult to convince oneself that God really loves the scrupulous person.  He might know that intellectually, but he can’t get it down to the level of feelings and emotions.  And so he suffers.  Can God possibly love ME? Does he forgive my sins? If I pray, will he hear me, be attentive to me, answer my cries for help? When I pray, do I do it right? When I confess my sins in the sacrament of penance, am I thorough enough? Does the priest understand what I mean? Am I trying to gloss over my sins? Am I really sorry for my sins? And on, and on, and on.

Yes, God does love you. Don’t be afraid. Yes, he forgives you. Don’t be afraid. Yes, you are doing your best; nothing more is required of you. Don’t be afraid. Yes, Jesus wants to be your savior, your brother, your friend. Don’t be afraid. All of this is summed up very beautifully in this entrance antiphon: “He who is to come will not delay. And then there will be no fear in our lands, because he is our Savior.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.


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