and Dreams in the Dark
There is no fear in love, but
perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with
punishment, and so one who fears
is not yet perfect in love.
(1 St. John 4.18)
Bogeyman of our lives. It has dogged
us, pursued us, relentlessly followed us no
matter where we have gone, no matter what we
have done to avoid its menacing shadow. It finds
us and leers at us. It would corner us and paralyze
us. Without so much as a finger laid upon us,
it would imprison us in a way that no bars ever
At its bidding we do this, or avoid doing that,
we go here or do not go there, do not fail to
do this, or always fail to do that.
We are the most abject servants of the most
cruel master imaginable.
Even when it is not present it sends its bastard
son Worry to keep us in our place,
to remind us that Fear is just around
the corner ... just out of sight ... a breath
away ... and we had better toe the line, and
prepare his coming by our obeisance to Worry,
his pallid and sickly son, every bit as perverse
and wicked as his father, just less potent.
They become our gods and we offer them sacrifice:
the sacrifice of freedom, of happiness, of security,
of liberty ... of peace. We burn them, one and
all, upon that pagan altar of punishment to
appease the gods of Fear and Worry.
We offer them our lives. More than offer,
we give and they gladly accept
and take! And in return give us ...
Think about it.
They cannot give us the very things that we
have sacrificed to them. The things
most precious to us. That was our offering!
Remember? They will not give you security, or
freedom, or happiness, or liberty ... not so
much as a breath of free air! What will they
give you in return for what you have surrendered
to them? What is more precious that
they have for which you trade your happiness?
What greater calamity can come upon you than
you have not already brought upon yourself by
surrendering your happiness?
Even should a calamity of such magnitude come
upon you what will it be? What calamity is
greater than the loss of happiness, health of
mind, freedom of soul, peace, happiness, joy,
security? What will this "calamity" be that
Fear and Worry always threaten
Will it deprive you of your happiness? You
already gave that. Your freedom, your peace
of mind they are already gone! What
does it threaten to take from you? Your life?
Is a life in such miserable servitude and fear
worth living? What then will it take from you?
Whatever it wants because the moment you grasp
onto the merest thread of happiness, you offer
it to false gods, you surrender it in sacrifice
before it is taken from you. If at
all you hold it, you do so as a tenant farmer
from whom the field can be taken on a whim
as though Fear and Worry gave
it and can therefore take it away!
They never gave you anything! Never once did
they give you in return! And so you are the
most foolish of men, the least wise of women.
You surrender all for nothing ... to keep
just a shadow a mere shadow away
from you. And you never succeed in doing so.
You are to be the most pitied among men, the
most pitiable among women. If you offer your
everything to false gods, is it a wonder you
get nothing in return? They are false! Fictions!
Bogeymen! and even were they
real, what will they take from you that is not
Do not scourge yourself needlessly. You are
not alone. Some just pretend better than others.
We all have our Bogeymen. At least many of us.
If, however, we listened to St. John today,
we would be free. We would know freedom. Freedom
How? Through perfect love. Through the love
of the Father, a love that understands, recognizes,
sees Him as "Father", the
most loving Father.
Who has only One Son. Who is just like His Father.
You are under God's love! If you perfectly trusted
that love, it would be perfect love and drive
out all fear.
If God is with us, who can be against us?
We now that all things happen together for
the good for those who love God.
What are Christ's words to us?
"Peace!" "My Peace I give you. Not as the
world gives, do I give to you.
Indeed, what are the words that first
fall from the lips of nearly every
Angel He ever sent?
"Get up! Do not be afraid.
If you are fortunate enough to have known the
love of an earthy father who would lay down
his very life for you, protect you from every
evil, all harm, give you every good in his power
... how is it that you esteem God
the Father less? ... think
Him less loving? Less powerful?
His protection less certain?
Wake up, children! Chase away the shadows and
drive out the bastards. Topple that pagan altar
to Fear and Worry upon which
you sacrifice yourself and your children! Know
the Living God!
The One of Whom Jesus said,
No one can take them out of my
hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is
greater than all, and no one can take
them out of the Father's hand.
(St. John 10.28-29)
Breathe the free air! Know peace! Have happiness
within yourselves for only you can surrender
it, give it away. Peace. It is God's own gift
to you. Keep and cherish what He gives you.
He is the Giver of every good thing. He, God,
If Bogeymen and bastards howl in the dark, throw
up the shades and let the Light of the Living
God drive off the demons of a dreamed darkness.
When you look out you will find it is empty.
And He is Real.
Know God, then! And breathe again ... be free
Boston Catholic Journal