Category : Reflections For The Heart
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.”
1 John 4:18
I came across this verse my junior year of college. It resonated deep within my soul and I brought it into every conversation I possibly could; so much so that when I would start to quote it to my friends they would join me, in a joking manner, like I was a broken record. There was and is a beauty to it that I couldn’t put my finger on until recently.
If I went around asking people what they were afraid of, I bet many would say: death, losing their job, becoming bankrupt or homeless, being alone, etc. But how many of us would say, surrendering to God’s will or allowing God to use us in ways that we cannot even fathom. Often times, I wonder if we think about how intimidating that could be. Take the Apostles for example and imagine yourself in their shoes. You’re spending all of your time with Jesus, and one day He looks at you and says, “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you” (John 16:7).
Fast forward to the 20th chapter of John and we find the Apostles locked in an upper room for fear of the Jews, essentially for fear of death. They just spent 3 years with Jesus to preach the Kingdom of God, not to hide in a room. Jesus comes to them and His first words are, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). A few verses later, Jesus breathes on them the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is now, and only now, that the Holy Spirit, the Love of God, has taken away their fear and will soon give to them the gifts to fulfill the mission they have been given (Matt. 28:19, Acts 2). There is no fear in love because there is no fear in the Holy Spirit – the manifestation of the Love between the Father and the Son.
In my own life, I know often times I am fearful of what truly surrendering means for my life – ‘What if I mess up your plan, God?’, ‘What if this isn’t what’s best for me?’, ‘What if I don’t feel ready?’– but at the end of the day, it’s not about me, what I want or what I think I’m capable of because God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) There’s something freeing in knowing that, in the words of Mother Teresa, “God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that you try.” We simply have to be open, as the Apostles were, to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
I recently came across a project that Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR is doing called “The Wild Goose”. This project is “a simple attempt to invite Catholic Christians into a more profound life giving relationship with the Holy Spirit”. I invite you to check out the website and watch the first few segments. They will inspire and stir up within you a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, who removes fear so that we can live Love perfectly.
“Stir in me a love that’s deep / A love that’s wide / A love that’s sweet. / And help me Lord to never keep it to myself / And if my heart should dimly burn / And if my feet should fail to run / Call my name and I will come right back to You.”
No Fear In Love by Steffany Gretzinger
Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Amen.