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Be not afraid

August 28, 2010

Each day is new,

and each is filled with the opportunity for service

and the weight of responsibility.

Each day dawns with a new supply of every spiritual gift

necessary to shelter us from darkness,

even if it does not seem to be so.

Whether we walk in seeming sight of heaven

or in a dark valley,

Jesus is there.

Jesus!

He is the Lord!

“Jesus, remember me!”

And He answers,

“This day

I am preparing a place for you,

so that where I am,

you also may be…”

“Be not afraid.”

The Church teaches that with each vocation comes the grace of that vocation, the spiritual power to do what is proper to our calling. It is not always obvious that these graces are given, and we don’t always use them. We can be so quick to claim the impossibility of our situation that we do not take up our responsibilities.

There is a mother of my acquaintanceship whose daughter got into a very damaging relationship with the potential of more or less complete disaster if it should develop into a marriage with all the permanence that is implied for Christians. What saved the situation — long story, of course — but the saving grace was that in a retreat setting each came to a deeper understanding of her responsibilities, and the mother was able to press the claims of her wisdom and clarity against the social milieu that puts personal choice, even of a vulnerable child, ahead of all good sense and parental responsibility.

You do have the graces you need. That doesn’t mean no problems; it means you can take the next good step towards life in Jesus, who is always there.

Think of Dismas, the thief who stole his salvation from the jaws of death as he hung on a cross beside Jesus. And all Jesus said was, “This day you will be with me in Paradise,” and he knew he was safe. But this word is also for us. He is preparing a place for us, and though it may not be “this day” to our short-sighted calculations, it is beautiful.

It happens now and then that several of one’s friends are troubled at once, so that everything seems to stack up, and nobody has extra energy for another. But Jesus always has enough, and his word is, “Be not afraid.”

And then I love the story of Pope John XXIII going to bed at night. I was told that he would go to the chapel and say to God, “It’s your world; it’s your Church. I’m going to bed.”

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