Take Courage and Do Not Be Afraid
The secret of the spiritual life consists in this: that we try, with a spirit of faith and with sincerity of heart, to unite ourselves to God in the midst of all the vicissitudes of life. The important thing is that we withdraw our interior life from that region where the changes and fluctuations of this world shake and disturb it, and place it in that serene region where there are no vacillations, but only stability and peace. Thus, the Church petitions in one of her prayers: “That, amid the changing things of this world, our hearts may be set where true joy is found.”
Our life is so complex! So very many elements enter into it! We are affected by everything, even by the weather: cold, heat, cloudy days. Hence, with greater reason do these various states of our soul affect our being. Again, I say, this is the reason our life is so complex.
The long biblical tradition, echoed by Saint John in today’s first reading, said that no one could look upon the face of God and live. Yet in the human face of Jesus Christ, the Son of God made flesh for our salvation, we have seen the true face of God’s unimaginable love.
The Infant Jesus cannot yet speak, yet when the day comes that he can, no force of nature will prevent him from coming to us. Even when we are tossed about by the storms in our lives, we are reassured by his words, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” As we “acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God,” the love that sends him over the water to us is brought to perfection in us.
Let us learn how to guard our treasure equally well at midnight and at high noon, whether the tempest is unleashed, or the sun shines brilliantly in a cloudless sky. (Servant of God Luis Maria Martinez) God is for us refuge and strength: let us come before him with songs of praise.
Deacon Peter Smith serves at St. Mary’s/Holy Family Parish in Alabama, a religion teacher at Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Birmingham, and a member of our extended Passionist Family.