Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.

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It is easy to be discouraged. All we have to do is to make a fair and honest assessment of today’s culture from the news to pop culture. The evidence of a fallen world abounds and if we are honest and look ourselves the picture doesn’t look any better. We are fallen creatures in constant need of conversion, prayer and growth in faith, hope and charity.

As our culture becomes more and more secularized and the memory of a Christian West starts fading into the history it will become more and more difficult to abide by the side of the everlasting man. As Cardinal Francis George said:

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square”.

Yet many people who quote him often forget to quote what he says next:

His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

A time may come when Christianity will be brutally persecuted in the West, but it will not be the end. It will only be a new beginning. History has proven this over and over again from the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire to the persecution Orthodox Christianity by the Arian heretics during the early centuries of Christianity; from the persecution of the Catholic Church in England during the revolt of King Henry VIII to the brutal persecution of the priesthood during the French revolution, the Church has always emerged to pick up the pieces and stand for Truth and the Light of Christ.

A few weeks ago the teens from my parish were confirmed in their Catholic faith through the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. That is the laying of the hands and the infusion of the Holy Spirit into their hearts:

“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit”.

Acts 19:6

“Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, instruction about baptisms and laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And we shall do this, if only God permits”.

Hebrew 6:1-3

Confirmation is one of the most beautiful modern rite of passage. It is an opportunity for teens not only to learn about their Christian faith but also to take ownership of their Faith. The catechism of the Catholic Church explains it very beautifully:

“Confirmation…gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross…”

CC paragraph 1303

This is a call to boldly confess the name of Christ and to never be ashamed of the Cross. This can be especially hard for Christians today because it is such a counter cultural statement to profess the sanctity of life, the beauty of chastity as a single and as a married person, to defend the poor, the weak and the dying and to promote the reference to that which is holy.

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God gives us the graces to accomplish all these things through the Holy Spirit. The question is:

What are we going to do with the Graces that God has given us?

There can only be two answers to this question: either we take these graces seriously and become saints or ignored them and become indifferent. Indifference always leads to death.

Indifference implies certain a level of understanding, for you can’t be indifferent about things that you know. For Christian indifference mainly arises out of willful ignorance because people are afraid of genuinely committing to understand because they know what it will demand of them. After all Jesus said:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. He gave us everything and yet we are hesitant of giving anything back.

Mathew 16:24-25

These are tough words! But he also said talking to Peter, who was sinking in the middle of a storm:

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Mathew 14:27

He is speaking to you and me today as he was speaking to his disciples:

Be not afraid of your own weakness because He will be there to strengthen you.

Be not afraid of your own ignorance because He will be there to enlighten you.

Be not afraid of your own impurities because He will be there to purify you.

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

He also says:

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.* And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Mathew 28:18-20

He promised us to be with us until the end of the age!

He is really there in the Holy Eucharist, His Body, His Blood, His Soul and His Divinity. Just waiting for you!

He is there when we go to Confession; when the Priest says: “I absolve you of your sin”. That is Christ telling you: “I absolve you of your sins”.

He is there preaching the gospel to all nations through His Church.

He is there in the silence of your heart. When you say: father, please show me the way because I don’t know.

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Mathew 14:27

This is how we are able to boldly proclaim his name and never be ashamed of the Cross because he is always going to be with us!

As we look forward to the Week that changed the world, let us look at Him on the Cross, look at his tortured body, at his pierced holy hands, at the wound in his chest from which blood and water pour for the salvation of the world…and listen, just listen to him…

He yearns for you.
He did it for you.
How can you be afraid?

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9 thoughts on “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

  1. Our time on earth is limited Caleb, although yes there will be a revival world wide, we will be called Home from every Nation in the World, not one of us that God knows are His, will be lost.

    We see around us as you shared Caleb part of the Birth pangs, yes it will be like in the days of Noah and also we see the other signs as Jesus prophesied, the earthquakes, the floods the changes in the earth and skies and these will increase and as Jesus told us, when we see these happening, we are the Generation who will see Him return and we will not be in darkness, we will know this from the signs, for us Jesus will not come as thief in the night.(see below) But we will be equipped and empowered and motivated to do the good works God has prepared in advance for us to do and we will finish these regardless of the opposition and persecution.

    1Thessalonians 5 :2 -6 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of Light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    No Temptation to sin will be greater than we can bear Caleb, having put our Carnal flesh to death and been Perfected in Love, we will than walk as Jesus walked in Love and righteousness.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    1 John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

    1 John 3: 1-11 ( 6-7 ) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man/woman deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

    Romans 8 :12-15 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. or if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Romans 6 :1- 2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    2 Timothy 2:19-21 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let every one that nameth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    Romans 6:5-7 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    Romans 8: 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 6:18-20 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    Ephesians 4:23-24 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made Perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but Perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made Perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Titus 2:13-15 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all Authority. Let no man despise thee.

    Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

    Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

    2Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be Perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

  2. Yes Caleb although there will be a revival world wide and we will be called Home from every Nation in the World, not one of us that God knows are His, will be lost but our time on earth is limited.

    We see around us as you shared Caleb part of the Birth pangs, yes it will be like in the days of Noah and also we see the other signs as Jesus prophesied, the earthquakes, the floods the changes in the earth and skies and these will increase and as Jesus told us, when we see these happening, we are the Generation who will see Him return and we will not be in darkness, we will know this from the signs, for us Jesus will not come as thief in the night.(see below) But we will be equipped and empowered and motivated to do the good works God has prepared in advance for us to do and we will finish these regardless of the opposition and persecution.

    1Thessalonians 5 :2 -6 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of Light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    No Temptation to sin will be greater than we can bear Caleb, having put our Carnal flesh to death and been Perfected in Love, we will than walk as Jesus walked in Love and righteousness.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    1 John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God sins; but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

    1 John 3: 1-11 ( 6-7 ) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man/woman deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

    Romans 8 :12-15 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. or if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Romans 6 :1- 2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    2 Timothy 2:19-21 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let every one that nameth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    Romans 6:5-7 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    Romans 8: 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 6:18-20 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    Ephesians 4:23-24 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made Perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but Perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made Perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Titus 2:13-15 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all Authority. Let no man despise thee.

    Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

    Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

    2Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be Perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

    1. Thank you for sharing the scriptures…it is mind boggling to think that they are people out there that deny that there is such thing a sin…probably they have never pick up a news paper, hear the news or have a neighbor!

      I love Romans 6:5-7! You are absolutely right he give us the graces that we need to overcome any sin…we just need to trust in him.

      Cheers,

      Caleb

      1. Very True Caleb, we have been set free not to sin as the Scripture I shared with you before confirms. Thankfully God knowing we are His means our sins are covered by Jesus’ our Lord and Saviour’s blood through His Grace and Mercy until we come to True heart repentance and than we are purified as we put our Carnal flesh Natures to death by the Spirit and aim to be Perfected in Love which is shown in our righteousness.

        1 John 3: 1-11 ( 6-7 ) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man/woman deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

        Blessings – Anne

      2. Hey Anne,

        Sorry but I have been very busy and I have been unable to keep up…hopefully soon things will clear up and I will find a bit more time!

        God Bless,

        Caleb

        Caleb

  3. Very True Caleb, we have been set free not to sin as the Scripture I shared with you before confirms. Thankfully God knowing we are His means our sins are covered by Jesus’ our Lord and Saviour’s blood through His Grace and Mercy until we come to True heart repentance and than we are purified as we put our Carnal flesh Natures to death by the Spirit and aim to be Perfected in Love which is shown in our righteousness.

    1 John 3: 1-11 ( 6-7 ) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man/woman deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

    Blessings – Anne

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