Sometimes fear stops people from seeing the truth of Gods love for their fears can become a barrier between them and God. It may be their fear that God will judge them sternly because of the sins they have and do commit and sins they will not stop committing. The continuing sin clouds their soul and closes it in small and large ways to God. Some people at times believe they know how God will judge them and because of their guilt think it will not be a good judgement. There are those who rather than stop what they do that is wrong instead look away from God thinking that there is little hope for them and they should expect the worst. They forget all they have to do is stop doing what is wrong and turn to God in true repentance and that He will be merciful. Sadly their guilt is a barrier than prevents them from knowing Gods love. Some despair believing hell is their destination and in their despair give up on life and on themselves. This can lead to depression that then blocks the persons vision even more as now mostly what is in their mind is thoughts of self and their situation. Sometimes people become afraid to love as they may have been hurt in love before and do not want to be hurt again or they feel no one would ever truly love them because they see themselves as unlovable. All should know they are loved by God. This denial of love is a denial of God who is love and a denial of the creation of love that each one is. That denial closes the door to the fullness of love in God.
Then there are those who have a belief in God The Father and in The Lord Jesus and in The Holy Spirit, but are afraid to share their belief with others because of fear of rejection, of being made fun of, as being seen as a religious nut or being hurt by others because of their faith. This is seen in the world today where so many Christians do not share their faith with others because society in general seems to be anti-Christian and there are groups or other faiths that might respond violently. So many do not even express their support of those who do stand up for their Christianity and are abused, hurt, enslaved and even killed for their belief in The Lord, Jesus. Often they join in the attacks and agree with the attacks on those with strong faith because their own faith is weak and they have accepted the wrongs of the world into their lives. Some put country, politics, unfair and biased laws and nationalistic pride before their faith and sometimes do so because that is what all their family and friends do.
Some Christians defend other belief systems that oppose what Christ, Our Lord, said to mankind while they do not defend their own faith. One a faith that the book they hold sacred and their founder says women are less than men and are on the same level as domestic animals; kill those who want to leave their faith. Kill, enslave or subjugate those who will not convert and which also wants to convert the world by force of arms; do not tolerate other religions; do not believe in freedom of speech; kill those who blaspheme. Yet, because the followers of this faith Islam speak so often of peace many ignore the truth of what is happening in the world around them before their very eyes. Large parts of the Christian population and other populations in the Middle East and Africa have fled while many have been killed or made slaves and treated very badly. Christian churches are desecrated and destroyed. Sometimes excuses are made for these bad beliefs and behaviors or they are ignored as people are afraid if they offend they might be targeted by some of the followers of this faith or because they are afraid that they might not be politically correct in speaking out or may be called racist. Some say that most people in this belief system are peace loving people. Yes, there are many who are, and thank God for them, they are good people trying to live good lives, trying to live peaceful lives and respecting others but also there are some who are not. Often I hear governments, media outlets and many Christians saying it is only a small minority that are extreme. It is not a small minority but a large minority that sympathize and or support those who do extreme actions in the name of their faith.
This is borne out by some countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia where if the prophet is seen as being offended there are mass demonstrations demanding the death of the offenders. Some Muslim countries execute Christians who have been accused of offending the prophet or the faith often with no evidence this has happened. It is written in the law that if you blaspheme the penalty is death. Other countries whose populations support violent Islamic movements which survive because of that support. Afghanistan is an example of that where there is strong support in various parts of the country for the Taliban. After a long war it seems very possible that the Taliban could be governing again in the future.
As followers of Christ, Christians are meant to stand firmly, lovingly and truthfully against that which is so obviously wrong but because of fear many do not. Fear rules the lives of many Christians and yet The Lord, Jesus, said many times do not be afraid.
Sometimes a response to fear is violence in the hope of removing what people are afraid of and this can lead to war between countries. Use of violence never removes fear it just replaces one fear with another. War on earth is not the answer to confronting that which we are afraid wants to destroy us. We as Christians are called to a spiritual war not a physical one. We are called to pray for the conversion of those who do not know the love of Christ. We are supposed to be fighting in the war that goes on beyond the physical where evil in the spiritual realm is trying to infect souls and lead them from God. While it may seem as nothing is happening as we pray and the violence continues in the world there is a lot occurring. Through our prayers evil is being confronted and is being overcome in our love of Christ. The violence in the world is a response to this as the evil one thinks by fear in our lives on earth he can distract us from the spiritual battle. He knows he is defeated but he wants to hurt as many people as he can eternally and he knows our prayers are saving souls by the grace of God. This is what he fears, our persevering in prayer and in trusting in The Lord, Jesus. This is what he wants to stop for he knows the suffering in lives on earth (terrible at times) is temporary while the suffering in hell is eternal. He wants all to suffer eternally in his domain of hell. It is in this spiritual battle where we persevere with our prayers for peace and for the conversion of others that he is losing and this he hates. So his hatred is poured out on the world through those he can get to do his will. Let us not be cowered by evils actions in the world. Let us all stand firm in our love of God and of others as warriors of faith who fight for the eternal souls of our brothers and sisters around the world. Our weapons are the love of God and of others; the Sacraments, Holy Scripture, prayer, forgiveness and obedience to Gods will no matter what the cost.
The battle is hard but the gentleness of our love, the tenderness of our faith and the strength of our hearts united in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be victorious in overcoming all evil and all fear.
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