When I was little, my father used to say that, if you were a real Christian, you would never be afraid of anything or anyone.
For were you not, if you were in the state of grace, the temple of the Holy Trinity? And wasn't the Blessed Mother there? For where the Trinity was, there Our Lady of the Trinity was sure to be. And naturally your patron saint would be within you too, as would your angel guardian.
Furthermore, as a Christian, you had the right and the duty, when in danger or need, to call on all the heavenly spirits for help, to call on anyone or everyone in the Church Triumphant, which is all the people of God in heaven. So, living, walking, breathing in such a glorious company, how could you be afraid of anything but sin? Sin alone has the power to bring real death. It has to be feared with a great fear, but nothing else.
You shouldn't fear illness or even death — both are precious gifts of the Lord! Sickness can make you into his likeness, even as all pain and sorrow does, and bring deep spiritual peace and understanding that cannot be reached any other way. And death? Death is Christ calling your soul for an eternal rendezvous of love. Oh, the joy of at long last being home, in the arms of the beloved!
Catherine Doherty, CM. "The Fear of the Disciples." excerpt from Grace in Every Season (Madonna House Publications, 1992).
Reprinted with permission of Madonna House Publications.
This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in 2013.
Catherine Doherty (1896-1985) used her heritage as a Russian Christian as a matrix for responding to the needs of Christian life and work in the modern world. Her own personal pilgrimage led her to be "poor with the poor Christ" in the slums of Toronto and in Harlem; and later to the establishing of the world-wide Madonna House Apostolate. A dedicated wife and mother, Catherine was also a prolific writer of hundreds of articles, a best-selling author of dozens of books, a renowned national speaker, and a pioneer of social justice. Catherine Doherty's cause for canonization as a saint is now under consideration by the Catholic Church. Among her books are: Grace in Every Season, Soul of My Soul Coming to the Heart of Prayer, Living The Gospel Without Compromise, An Experience of God Identification with Christ — a Road to the Mystical Life, and Catherine de Hueck Doherty: Essential Writing.Copyright © 1992 Madonna House Publications
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