July 10, 2011
Fear is a self-defense mechanism, or better, a survival tactic. It does work. But it’s not what we're called to live as Catholics. Fear of snakes will likely help you keep from getting bit and dying. Fear of heights will help preserve you from falling to your death. Fear of failure will keep you from any risky decisions and let someone else make the tough calls at work, at home, wherever. Fear of offending anyone will always keep you pleasing other people, though perhaps not pleasing God. Fear of death will keep you from living too much.
Statues of St. Francis often have a skull at his feet. People wonder how a joyful saint could always be pictured with a morbid image of death. His secret was: he wasn't really living until he knew he was dying. Why does a man with a terminal cancer diagnosis wait until he's dying to start to do the things that are most important? Why wait? Too much to risk, I suppose.
The giving of ourselves to Jesus, to the Gospel, means that we're going to carry a cross and we're going to die, but it will be in union with Him, with His cross. "Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life will gain it." Let's start dying so we can start living!
~Br. Maximilian Mary