Matthew, Chapter 14, Verse 22-27
22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening, he was there alone. 24Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
The disciples, laboring against the turbulent sea are saved by Jesus. Jesus shows his power over the waters by his walking on the sea during the night. This happen during the fourth watch of the night-time: between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. The Romans divided the twelve hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. into four equal parts called “watches.” Christ further demonstrates that he is divine by stating “it is I” or “I am.” This reflects his hidden identity of Jesus as Son of God.
Fear of Ghosts
Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, while acknowledging that the Catholic Church does not teach specifically about “ghosts” or spirits, speculates that there are three different kinds of ghosts:
We can distinguish three kinds of ghosts, I believe.
First, the most familiar kind: the sad ones, the wispy ones. They seem to be working out some unfinished earthly business, or suffering some purgatorial purification until released from their earthly, business. These ghosts would seem to be the ones who just barely made it to Purgatory, who feel little or no joy yet and who need to learn many painful lessons about their past lives on earth.
Second, there are malicious and deceptive spirits and since they are deceptive, they hardly ever appear malicious. These are probably the ones who respond to conjuring’s at séances. They probably come from Hell. Even the chance of that happening should be sufficient to terrify away all temptation to necromancy.
Third, there are the bright, happy spirits of dead friends and family, especially spouses, who appear unbidden, at God’s will, not ours, with messages of hope and love. They seem to come from Heaven. Unlike the purgatorial ghosts who come back primarily for their own sakes, these bright spirits come back for the sake of us the living, to tell us all is well. They are aped by evil spirits who say the same, who speak “peace, peace, when there is no peace”. But deception works only one way: the fake can deceive by appearing genuine, but the genuine never deceives by appearing fake. Heavenly spirits always convince us that they are genuinely good. Even the bright spirits appear ghostlike to us because a ghost of any type is one whose substance does not belong in or come from this world. In Heaven these spirits are not ghosts but real, solid, and substantial because they are at home there. “One can’t be a ghost in one’s own country.”
How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear
BEFORE you can put any portion of this philosophy into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it. The preparation is not difficult. It begins with study, analysis, and understanding of three enemies which you shall have to clear out.
These are INDECISION, DOUBT, and FEAR! The members of this unholy trio are closely related; where one is found, the other two are close at hand.
INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR! Remember this, as you read. Indecision crystalizes into DOUBT, the two blend and become FEAR! The “blending” process often is slow. This is one reason why these three enemies are so dangerous. They germinate and grow without their presence being observed.
There are six basic fears, with some combination of which every human suffers at one time or another. Most people are fortunate if they do not suffer from the entire six. Named in the order of their most common appearance, they are:
· The fear of POVERTY
· The fear of CRITICISM
· The fear of ILL HEALTH
· The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE
· The fear of OLD AGE
· The fear of DEATH
All other fears are of minor importance, they can be grouped under these six headings. The prevalence of these fears, as a curse to the world, runs in cycles.
Breaking the cycle of fear of poverty
“Each year you shall tithe all the produce of your seed that grows in the field; then in the place which the LORD, your God, chooses as the dwelling place of his name you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your grain, wine and oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, that you may learn always to fear the LORD, your God.” Deuteronomy 14
God wants you to celebrate life; you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your produce. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone did this! If we all took time off with a tenth of the money, we made to celebrate with God and our family and friends together. What a different world it would be. Imagine all the celebrations you would attend. Maybe we should all strive to take a 40-day retreat/celebration. Save your money for this! What is on your bucket list; perhaps the Lord wants you and me to cross off some of those things in His presence. If I were young again this is how I would budget: 10% for His Presence (30 to 40 days’ vacation); 10% for charity/church; 10% savings and live off the 70 percent; that is after the government takes their 50%. Imagine if there was a fair tax……. that bequeathed everyone $5000 above the poverty level for a family of 4 of $29,420 to invest. A good resource for financial advice is a book entitled, “The Richest Man in Babylon”
Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels