Be Not Afraid

(September 1 2022)

Be not Afraid

September has arrived. The days are getting shorter and soon the cooler weather will arrive. This is also a sign that we are coming to a time of change. Soon, birds will start their journey south. Leaves on the trees will turn gold and red and orange.

It is also a time of new beginnings. Young mothers prepare their kids for day care and kindergarten. Young teenagers start high school. Highschool seniors head off to college and university. There may even be a few tears as little ones get on the school bus for the first time. Tears may be shed by children, but also by parents.

Other activities begin as well. Card clubs, men’s club, music groups, football and piano lessons. Perhaps you are considering doing something new. The need for volunteers is great, especially leaders.To get started in all of these areas requires courage.

We have many examples of courageous people. One is Blessed Frederic Ozanam our founder. He had the courage to accept the challenge of one of his classmates. He was asked what he was doing to help the poor. From there he formed the beginnings of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. We celebrate his feast day this month.

St John Paul II encouraged everyone constantly , “Be not Afraid!”. I heard him tell us these words in Toronto in the mid eighties. It was September 14, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, my mom’s birthday.

Don’t be afraid of being a good Catholic in your community, in your family. Have the courage to start new initiatives; personal, spiritual, within your conference. Volunteer to assist at Mass, with Children’s liturgy, to help with new Catholics.

We are also afraid of what is going on in our world; both public and personal. War, disputes, global warming, poverty, violence, tragedy. All these require us to have courage. We have this courage because we know that God goes before us always.

God helps us when we think all the gifts God gave us is gone; health, strength, finances, everything tied to ageing. He helps us in our struggles with addictions, health issues and family problems.

Do not be afraid when you are called to encounter new situations. Maybe your married life is just beginning. Maybe your life as a mom or a dad is about to begin. Perhaps you are like me adjusting to life as a grand parent. Maybe you lost your partner of 40 or 50 years and you are adjusting to a life without them. He will be with you in this darkness.

Pray to God. Ask Him for the courage you need in your life.

Blessed Frederic Ozanam, Pray for us.

Deacon John Girolami

Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Deacon John Girolami,
Spiritual Advisor, ONRC