Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)
TITLE: "Be Not Afraid"
By Gabrielle Morgan
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Pope John Paul II said: “Be not afraid,” simple words with much meaning.
We should not be afraid to say we believe, even though all around us may not. We should not be afraid to act on God’s behalf.
It is hard to be a Catholic in these days of rampant media coverage. Serious crimes of child abuse and paedophilia, perpetrated by a small percentage of priests, or hot issues like denial of communion to openly gay Catholics, are all seized upon by the media and aired in confrontational debates on television worldwide.
The secular world relishes the opportunity to take issue with Church doctrinal matters, as they are in opposition to what they would have us believe should be a morally free society. Consequently, the credibility of the Church comes into question.
The disillusionment and outside pressures have become so great that it is not surprising that many have left the Church out of embarrassment and among those who remain some are ashamed to admit to being Catholic.
This is a sad situation for the majority of good Catholics, trying to live holy lives, who in their experience have only found positive nurturing from dedicated priests.
The failings in ‘human’ nature remain with us and can best be confronted with unconditional help from the Holy Spirit. As a Catholic, there is always hope in the practice of prayer, nourishment for the soul in communion, and a very real sense of the presence of Jesus in the eucharist at every Mass. So in the words of Pope John Paul, there is no need to be afraid or embarrassed. There is only a need to trust in God, live out His commandments and pray that others who live in sin may be forgiven and choose to heal their lives.
“Be not afraid! God is preparing a new springtime for the Gospel.” (Pope John Paul II)
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