Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lent Day 21 - Fear is Faith in Reverse

"Fear is faith in reverse." Zig Ziglar  

The Lead and Succeed seminar we attended a few months ago propelled us to search out the great motivational speakers in history. Well, let's say it inspired me to learn more, as Jay was already well versed in this area! I never realized how many gifted men and women aspire to motivate others. Today I came across the quote above when I googled fear and Zig Ziglar. It was perfect in combination with the Gospel reading on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. If Mary let fear take over when the angel Gabriel appeared, this world would be a different world today. But God chose Mary because He created her pure and faithful, knowing her love for Him would overshadow any fear of what she was about to be asked. Stop for a moment and imagine being in Mary's shoes. Now think about your life as it is today. Would you say "yes" to God if He asked something of you? Lay apostles, He is and has been asking us to love and follow Him for a long time. It's all in the Gospels; it's in every piece of writing through Anne a lay apostle. Leave fear behind today and take a stand for our Heavenly Father. Commit to Him and witness the graces He has waiting for you!

In todays Gospel (Luke 1:26-38), Mary overcomes her human fear for God's Will:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

In Volume Three, our Blessed Mother Mary gives us strength and comfort when fear seems to be getting the best of us:

"Children, I know it is difficult for you at times. Remember that I lived the earthly life and drew much comfort from faith. I was often unsure of what the future held for my Son but I knew it was suffering. I lived with that reality, despite which I remained cheerful, dutiful, and joyful. You may ask how I did that. I tell you that I did it through prayer. I constantly asked our Heavenly Father to sustain me. When I felt the grief of my Son’s future, I stopped whatever I was doing, and made an act of obedience to our Father. This became my life habit and it served me well, even during the most difficult hours. You will find this too. Whenever you feel unsure of yourself or afraid, make an act of obedience. Say the following: “God in heaven, I pledge my allegiance to You. I give You my life, my work, and my heart. In turn, give me the grace of obeying Your every direction to the fullest possible extent.” That is all, children. That simple prayer will draw consolation down to you, consolation which will steady you and prepare you to proceed in His will. We do not judge you for your mistakes. We do not criticize. We want to guide you and if you turn the wrong way, we will simply correct you. Do not be afraid of failure, because, with God, failure is not possible. Step forward now with joy, enriched by my words. Jesus, your Savior, also has much to say to you, and will continue this heavenly direction. My children, humility is your watchword and love is your compass. You are being placed under my mantle of protection." 

Lay apostles, what are you fearful of? Write it down. Make a list. Be honest with yourself. Then write down what you believe the outcome would be if what you fear was to come true. Does your answer have anything to do with pride? Fear of the unknown? Death? Choose faith over fear . . . it works every time!

Thank you, Lord, for helping me get over my fears. I know I haven't completely eradicated them, but I know the graces are available!

God bless,

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