'Christ Frees Us From Fear,' Says Father Cantalamessa
Pontifical Household Preacher Comments on Sunday's Readings
ROME, JUNE 19, 2005 (Zenit) - In a commentary on this Sunday's readings, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Pontifical Household, proposes that Christ is key to overcoming fear.
* * *
Have No Fear!
The Gospel's dominant theme this Sunday is that Christ frees us from fear. Like illnesses, fears can be acute or chronic. Acute fears are determined by a situation of extraordinary danger. If I am about to be run over by a car, or begin to notice that the earth is moving under my feet because of an earthquake, I am gripped by acute fears. As they arise unexpectedly and without warning, so they disappear as soon as the danger is over, leaving perhaps only a bad memory. They do not depend on us and are natural. More dangerous are chronic fears, those that live with us, which we carry from our birth or childhood, which become part of our being, and which sometimes we end up being attached to.
Fear is not an evil in itself. It is often the occasion to reveal unsuspected courage and strength. Only someone who knows fear knows what courage is. Fear can really become an evil that consumes and does not allow one to live, rather than being a stimulus to react and a spring for action, it can become an excuse for inaction, something that paralyzes. When it is turned into anxiety: Jesus named man's most common anxieties: "'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'" (Matthew 6:31). Anxiety has become the illness of the century, and it is one of the main causes for the multiplication of heart attacks.
We live in anxiety, and that is why we do not live! Anxiety is an irrational fear of an unknown object. To always be afraid of everything, to systematically expect the worst and to always live in a palpitation. If there is no danger, anxiety invents it; if it exists, anxiety magnifies it. The anxious person suffers evils twice over: first in the anticipation and then in the reality. What Jesus condemns in the Gospel is not simple fear so much or just concern for tomorrow, but precisely this anxiety and disquiet. "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day," he said.
But let's stop describing our fears of different sorts and let's try, instead, to see what remedy the Gospel offers us to overcome our fears. The remedy is summarized in one word: to trust God, to believe in Providence and in the heavenly Father's love. The real root of all fears is that of finding oneself alone, like that continuous fear of the child of being abandoned.
And Jesus assures us precisely about this: that we will not be abandoned. "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up," says Psalm (27:10). Even if all were to abandon us, the Lord would not. His love is stronger than all.
We cannot leave the topic of fear, however, on this point. It would be less than close to reality. Jesus wants to free us from fears and he always frees us. But he does not have only one way to do so; he has two: he either takes away the fear from our hearts or he helps us to live with it in a new way, more freely, making of it an occasion of grace for ourselves and for others.
He himself wished to live this experience. It is written that, in the Garden of Olives "he began to feel sadness and anxiety." The original text even suggests the idea of a solitary terror, as of someone who feels removed from human association, in an immense solitude. And he wished to experience this precisely to redeem this aspect of the human condition also. Since that day, living in union with him, fear, especially fear of death, has the power to uplift us instead of depressing us, of making us more attentive to others, more understanding, and in a word, more human.
[Italian original published in Famiglia Cristiana]
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Cantalamessa, Christ, Fear, Commentary, Sunday, Mass
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, July 25, 2017
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 HD Video
- Oh no! Is El Nino coming back to California?
- Will We Use Our Ears To Hear?
- Pope Francis is set for something big, but what is it? HD Video
- Scientists discover elusive 'Angel Particles' are real
- St. James the Greater: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 25, 2017
- pictures of saints
- john the baptist
- saint anne
- hail holy queen
- saint elizabeth
- saint paul
- saint christopher
- st mary
- nicene creed
- our lady of guadalupe
- saint francis of assisi
- young children
- Saint Nicole
- st. michael
- saint francis
- Statues of the Virgin Mary triumphantly return to Iraq, after defeat of ISIS HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, July 24th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 HD