This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Tuesday of Holy
Chapter 6, Verse 2-4
you reach Babylon you will be there many years, a long time—seven generations;
after that I will bring you back from there in peace. 3
now in Babylon you will see gods of silver and gold and wood, carried shoulder
high, to cast fear upon the nations.4Take
care that you yourselves do not become like these foreigners and let not such fear possess you.
not let fear possess you! Sometimes
people lose hope when they enter a strange land. John McCain highlights in his
book Character is Destinythe
hopefulness of John Winthrop who left the security of his native country to
face the dangers of an unknown world to create and shape the character of a new
civilization in America. Is there still hope in this country He helped found?
Only if we have hope!
John was a puritan and followed
the idea that they are to be in the world but not of the world. They should not
love earthly pleasures but neither should they shun the blessings of God. To be
humble and grateful and give hope to others, by being faithful and encouraging
in their own society. John believed men should strive to build a shining city
on the hill by putting ones duty to God and community before one’s own personal
desires and to never despair.
He wrote and preached the sermon,
“Model of Christian Charity”
to give hope to others. He led always by example and never, never gave up hope.
Tuesday of Holy Week
Traditionally the account of Christ's Passion
according to St. Mark is read today and most people continue with spring
cleaning. Also today marks the bargaining of Judas with the Sanhedrin as the
Jewish way of tracking time makes Tuesday evening Wednesday as days changed
after sunset and not at midnight following the Roman time keeping method.
We learned yesterday from St. John that Judas was a
thief. He robbed from Christ, from the other apostles, from the incipient
Church. Jesus, for him, had become merely an excuse to seek after his own
interests. Jesus was not the one thing necessary, as he was for Mary of Bethany.
Jesus wasn't even an end, but merely a means for Judas to satisfy his own
greed. Judas supposedly had serious qualms of conscience about the failure to
sell the years’ worth of aromatic nard with which Mary had anointed Jesus'
feet, but he thought nothing about selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas
had been a disciple merely in his body, not in his heart. Judas had been called
personally by the Lord, had lived with him for about 1,000 days, had followed
him for three years, had heard him preach and teach, had seen him walk on
water, still stormy seas, feed thousands with a five rolls and two sardines,
raise three people from the dead, heal on countless occasions the sick, blind
and lame and have mercy on countless sinners, had even received from the Lord
the power to do many of these same things himself, and had been entrusted by
him with the money bag for the Twelve. But he tragically had never gotten to
know Jesus, and even more tragically had never gotten to love him. He remained
just a follower of Jesus on the outside, not on the inside. In betraying Jesus,
Judas valued him less than a handful of coins, forgetting that it would profit
him nothing to gain the whole world and forfeit his life.
Modern man and the media often portray persons that
fast as deranged, passé or even ignorant. However, fasting and bodily
discipline are truly the marks of a man or woman of mature intellect which has
mastery over not only the mind but also the body and spirit. St. Paul put it in
stronger terms, “put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col. 3:5).”
Jesus has also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and
take up his cross and follow me.” Christ knew we become attached to created
things and to the pleasure they bring us. St. Augustine said that sin begins as
a turning away from God and a turning toward lesser goods. When we sin, we
don’t choose evil. We choose something less than God and His will. Our bodies
want more than they need, so we must give them less than they want. Our bodies must
be subject to our reason—or our reason will soon be subjected to our bodies.
St. Paul went even further. “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27).
Nevertheless our goal should be to let our reason/soul cooperate with the Holy
philosophy demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:
soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste
good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our
body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so the soul tries
to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.
the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with
materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow
and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the
third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new
approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither
leans towards the body nor rejects it. It
does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and
channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way. In this last approach,
instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity
to serve God in a whole new way.
Using the third approach we should fast with a
purpose like Moses or Elijah for example before going into God’s presence or to
strengthen us or for the benefit of others. Jesus fasted not because He needed
to, but as a model for us. We should make self-sacrifices in an effort to make
others happy or out of love for our God to share in his plan of salvation. By
dying to self, daily, we prepare ourselves for our own moment of death.
are veterans of the spiritual war that continues to rage in this world. Their
insights, born of long experience in combat with the Enemy, can make us wise
and strong in battle.
·God has fashioned and shaped only one enmity, and that an
irreconcilable one, which will endure and even increase, until the end: It is
that between the Virgin Mary and the Devil, between the children and servants
of the Blessed Virgin and the children and accomplices of Satan; so that the
most terrible of the enemies of Satan created by God is Mary, his Blessed
Mother. ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT
·Men do notfeara powerful, hostile army as much as
the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary. ST. BONAVENTURE
·You, O Lady, by the simple invocation of your most powerful name,
give security to your servants against all the assaults of the Enemy. ST.
·By invoking the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under
Pontius Pilate, Satan is driven out of men. ST. IRENAEUS
·We are all inclined to sin, my children; we are idle, greedy,
sensual, given to the pleasures of the flesh. We want to know everything, to
learn everything, to see everything. We must watch over our mind, over our
heart, and over our senses, for these are the gates by which the Devil
penetrates. See, he prowls round us incessantly; his only occupation inthis
world is to seek companions for himself. All our life he will lay snares for
us; he will try to make us yield to temptations. We must, on our side, do all
we can to defeat and resist him. We can do nothing by ourselves, children. But
we can do everything with the help of the good God. Let us pray Him to deliver
us from this enemy of our salvation, or to give strength to fight against him.
With the Name of Jesus we shall overcome the demons; we shall put them to
flight. With this name, though they may sometimes dare to attack us, our battles
will be victories, and our victories will be crowns for heaven, all brilliant
with precious stones. ST. JOHN VIANNEY