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Spiritual Reflection - March 2023

TUWHITIA TE HOPO! Banish your fears!

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

A popular hymn these days ‘BE NOT AFRAID’ is inspired by texts in the 1st Testament of the bible and incorporates the invitation of Jesus ‘Come follow me’. It may surprise you but that phrase (or similar) appears 365 times in the bible. The two people at the beginning of the Jesus story, namely Mary and Joseph hear these words uttered by the angel.  Given the reason for their fear they certainly needed this reassurance.

Fear is probably the biggest cause preventing growth on every level. It particularly comes to the fore when we are asked to give of ourselves. It’s surprising how mean we humans can be. Watch how that dark side can surface within yourself when you realise X could really do with your help and you could easily help. It’s a bit of a nuisance and commitment though, and who knows how long it might go on for?

It takes a lot of courage to recognise our fears and face them, particularly when it comes to fear of losing human respect. If we live with a fear and compulsively work to suppress it, it will more than likely be the very thing that destroys us. If the Church authorities had been open about their clergy who offended sexually, instead of trying to cover it up for fear of damaging the Church’s reputation, we wouldn’t be in the position we are today.

Young people are pressured to ‘drink up,’ take drugs and fall into those areas that are anything but admired: alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide.

On another level fear is what prevents dreams from being realised. I may be afraid of failure or becoming committed so I invent reasons why it can’t be done. Perhaps it is on this level that organisations such as the V de P could do some soul searching.

Another area where I am certain fear takes over is that of spirituality. If I take my relationship with God more seriously I might become a “Holy Joe”. It is strange, but who has ever been afraid of a genuinely holy person? Only those who don’t want to change!

SHARING:  Discuss fear and its relevance to the Vincentian mission. How do the words: living, dying, rising relate to this topic?


You know all about fear
Sweat, like drops of blood, scripture says.
Yet a passionate love came from within
You lived, died and rose
Each time you faced your fear.