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Tag Archives: duty to speak out

TRUE DISCIPLESHIP IS A SCARY VENTURE – IN THE TIME OF THE APOSTLES AS WELL AS TODAY

Following and imitating Jesus Christ in today’s surroundings

Whose fear is it, anyway?

“True discipleship is a scary venture; it was so in the time of the Apostles, and it remains so today. Discipleship, which is another way of saying that one embraces the baptismal call to follow in the footprints of Jesus Christ, requires resisting the mongering that our culture so often encourages.

The messages so frequently displayed in advertisements and on television promote a culture of fear that seeks to convince women and men today that they are inadequate, unlovable, and imperfect without buying this or that product, without paying for this or that service. The advertising agencies around the globe realise that human beings make too many of their choices out of fear and capitalise on that dynamic.

When individuals wish to take control and seize authority, it is to the weapon of fear that they turn, planting the seeds of insecurity and doubt into the hearts and minds of the population.

Working to overcome fear 

Jesus, as truly human, understood the experience of fear. Weeping in the garden on the night he was betrayed, the Lord expresses solidarity with those who face physical harm and emotional stress.

But Jesus, as truly divine, also understood that following the Father’s Will means working to overcome the inhibitive fear that too often prevents us from doing what is right and speaking the truth when necessary. Hence, Jesus’s first words to his followers – then and now – are always ‘Do not be afraid,’ because when we surrender to fear we are unable to live the Gospel.”

– This is an excerpt from “Do Not Be Afraid!” by Daniel P. Horan, published in Messenger of Saint Anthony, issue June 2015. For subscriptions please contact: Messenger of St Anthony, Basilica del Santo, via Orto Botanico 11, 1-35123 Padua, Italy

 

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LET NOT REGARD FOR PRIVATE SECURITY OR A SENSE OF FUTILITY STOP YOU FROM PROCLAIMING THE TRUTH

THE HEROIC FIGURE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST MUST INSPIRE ALL OF US TO HAVE COURAGE…ST JOHN THE BAPTIST, PRAY FOR US.

The figure of John demonstrates two laws about authentic people and shatters two dangers to which man’s authenticity generally succumbs. He shatters two situations in which an authentic man so very often suffocates and drowns. The first law and the first danger: the prophet stands before the king. And the first point:

• do not permit regard for private security or personal existence to make you into an inauthentic person.

So very often throughout history, whenever prophet and king have encountered one another, the king is always in the superior position. What is easier, what is simpler, than to muzzle a prophet! Yet, indeed, hasn’t it been – not the voices of those who went into the palaces and were welcome there – but rather the voices calling in the wilderness who filled the cosmos, who prepared the way, who directed people toward Advent, and who arranged for the proper meeting with the end and the Ultimate? Prophet and king! The prophet must have known that the king’s power and force and majesty would fall upon him and crush him if he said, “‘Non licit’: That is wrong because it is inauthentic and is not in accordance with the divine order.” And John said it, and he was crushed, and he was brutalised, and – for all time and eternity – he stands as the witness within history, as the witness before the face of the Lord, as authenticity itself. And he was right! Along with that are the second law and the second danger.

• Futility or ineffectiveness do not dispense one from speaking the truth, declaring what is wrong, and standing up for what is right and just.

How could this prophet think he could interfere in the family history and family scandals of the king, and be successful? Whoever considers success, or makes his decisions or attitudes dependent upon whether something is futile or certain of success, is already corrupt. Then authenticity no longer means his personal encounter with what is real; it is rather his personal dependence upon success, upon being heard, on popularity and applause, and on the roar of the great throngs. He is already corrupt. And woe if the prophets are mute out of fear that their word might not be heeded.
– Fr Alfred Delp, 20th century

 
 

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