Fear Enslaves.

The tragic and senseless killing in the Church in South Carolina this week demonstrates how fear, left unresolved, turns to absolute hatred and disregard for everything, even human life. Hatred, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance and all those acts that seek to belittle, diminish, negate or eliminate the value of others are so often born of fear. It is an irrational, unfounded, unsubstantiated fear, but it is fear. Far too many people succumb to such fear and point the finger of blame at others who often have nothing to do with the other’s fear. Nine people of God died needlessly because someone pointed an accusatory finger at them and decided that his imagined problems were their fault. Killing those nine innocent people did nothing to eliminate or satisfy the thirst caused by fear. All this senseless act did was to cause heartache for those who loved those people who gathered to open themselves up to God’s Word in Scripture. Those nine people had fears too, we all do. But they decided that fear was not going to enslave them. Fear was not going to fill them with hatred. Fear was not going to win. They wanted something better to fill them. Those nine people who died must now stand as a reminder that we all have to make a choice – give in to fear and be filled with all the emotions that eat away at our ability to recognize and respect humanity or believe that there is a better way. I pray that signs that encourage fear will one day be found only in museums as a sign of what happens when we choose to feed our fears. Let us pray for the families of those who died – may they be comforted by the same words that their loved ones were studying. Let us pray for an end to hatred, bigotry and prejudice. Let us pray for a change of heart for those who belittle, diminish, negate or devalue the worth of others.
It is rather ironic that a fearful person sat with those who were studying God’s Word, had he but opened his heart to God’s message, he might have found the way to gain back his freedom but he chose to close himself off from everything that could have saved him. If he had just allowed a little crack in the door to his heart, God could have flooded it with understanding. Now he has discovered that the appetite of hatred is fierce – eventually it even consumes the one who feeds it. When fear presents itself, may each one of us have strength and courage to refuse to feed it and instead open our hearts to God. 

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5 thoughts on “Fear Enslaves.

  1. Father, These words you wrote truly hit the core of the problem re racism. Thank you. While I am writing I notice on Sunday the responsorial psalm and response is never what is our Church booklet. I see many people put the book down in confusion. Sometimes it is not clear and people would like to read and answer as printed. Why not follow the book as written? Thanks for this opportunity to comment. God bless you always you keep us going.

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    • Hi Mary. Thanks for the feedback. As for the Responsorial Psalm, we try to use responses that are easy to catch on and are uplifting. The response is simply repeating what the cantor sings. Many of the tunes for those listed in the book are not easy or uplifting. We just keep trying to offer what is best. Peace!

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  2. I agree that fear contributes to hatred, prejudice, bigotry, intolerance, etc, but I believe that evil exists in this world, and all around us we can see signs of spiritual warfare. The culture of death, as described by Pope John Paul II, has been evident for many years. Just in our country, family life is on life support at the present time. The institution of marriage, as we know it, has been declared dead, and I could go on and on. But, I do not despair, and I am hopeful because I know how the story ends — My God is an awesome God!

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  3. And now we have two more senseless killings; the journalists in Virginia and the deputy in Texas. Mental illness is blamed but to me there was such a sense of hate. Where does that come from?

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