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Do not be afraid


Doubt not, then, his power to bring you through any difficulties, who gives you the command to encounter them.


He has showed you the way; he gave up the home of his Mother Mary to "be about his Father's business," and now he but bids you take up after him the cross which he bore for you, and "fill up what is wanting of his afflictions in your flesh."

Be not afraid, — it is but a pang now and then, and a struggle;  a covenant with your eyes, and a fasting in the wilderness, some calm habitual watchfulness, and the hearty effort to obey, and all will be well.

Be not afraid.  He is most gracious, and will bring you on by little and little.  He does not show you whither he is leading you;  you might be frightened did you see the whole prospect at once.  Sufficient for the day is its own evil.  Follow his plan; look not on anxiously;  look down at your present footing "lest it be turned out of the way," but speculate not about the future.  I can well believe that you have hopes now, which you cannot give up, and even which support you in your present course. 

Be it so;  whether they will be fulfilled, or not, is in his hand.  He may be pleased to grant the desires of your heart;  if so, thank him for his mercy;  only be sure, that all will be for your highest good, and "as your days, so shall your strength be.  There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rides upon the heaven in your help, and in his excellency on the sky.  The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  He knows no variableness, neither shadow of turning;  and when we outgrow our childhood, we but approach, however feebly, to his likeness, who has no youth nor age, who has no passions, no hopes, nor fears, but who loves truth, purity, and mercy, and who is supremely blessed, because he is supremely holy.



John Henry Cardinal Newman. "Do not be afraid." excerpt from Parochial and Plain Sermons (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997).

This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in April 2013.


The Author

newman72newman71Blessed John Henry Newman was born on 21 February 1801, and died on 11 August 1890. Through his published writings and private correspondence he created a greater understanding of the Catholic Church and its teachings, helping many persons with their religious difficulties. At his death he was praised for his unworldliness, humility, and prayerful contact with the invisible world. Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman is the author of many books including, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, Difficulties of Anglicans, The Idea of a University, Fifteen Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford Between A.D. 1826 and 1843, and Apologia Pro Vita Sua.

Copyright © Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
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