Part III of a 12 Part Series


“What on earth are you afraid of?”

(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)


“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy

that will be for all the people.  For today in the city of David,

a Savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” 

(Lk 2:10-11)



In medical terms, “fear” is often defined as an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger, often accompanied by increased autonomic activity (increased heart rate, blood pressure and sweating).  “Anxiety” is defined by an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by the same physiological signs, by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.  However, “fear” in the most general term as used in the English vernacular, and so often in the multitude of mystical gifts from God the Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Emmitsburg through Gianna Sullivan, most often implies anxiety and usually loss of courage.  The moral evaluation of anxiety begins with the exercise of prudence, to discover if there are valid grounds for the apprehension.  If there are not, to act on the anxiety or fail to act because of it would be a lack of trusting God’s Providence.



Part III


10.  Fear of Suffering and the Cross

11.  Fear of Loss

12.  Fear of Change



Fear of Suffering and the Cross


And Jesus said to all,

"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself,

and take up his cross daily, and follow Me….

And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after Me,

cannot be My disciple."

(Lk 9:23, Lk 14:27)


In St. Louis de Montfort's Prayer to Mary, part of the 33-day Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we pray:


"As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was thine, to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures, to suffer joyfully without human consolation, to die continually to myself without respite, and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death, as the humblest of thy servants."


Who are we kidding?  How many of us truly want that?


In the Catholic Dictionary, "suffering" is defined as the disagreeable experience of soul that comes with the presence of evil or the privation (loss) of some good.  Although commonly synonymous with pain, suffering is rather the reaction to pain; and in this sense suffering is a decisive factor in Christian spirituality.  In the order of Divine Providence, suffering is the result of sin having entered the world; but not only does it offer a means to expiate wrongdoing for one's own sinfulness and that of the world, but it also allows the believer to offer a sacrifice of praise to God, to unite oneself with Christ in His sufferings as an expression of love, and in the process to become more Christ-like.


In Christian spirituality, suffering is often depicted by the "cross" because it was the Cross which was used as the instrument on which Christ died and redeemed the world; and as such, the cross is often used as the symbol for whatever pain or suffering one endures and voluntarily accepts in order to be joined with Christ, cooperating with Him as did His Mother in the salvation of souls.


In the "Words" of God the Father to the world through Gianna Sullivan, He has frequently asked some very probing questions to His children of humanity.  So too it is as it relates to the mystery of "Cross":


"As God your Father, why was it that I sent My Son, Who obliged Me and humbled Himself to save humanity, to suffer on a Cross?  The mystery, yes indeed, the mystery of the Cross!  Why was it, if He could have anything He wanted?  Why was it that He wanted you?…There is only one reason!  Look to your Mother, pure and Immaculate, wholesome, humble and most wise….She made the ultimate choice!  It was nothing other than to be in Union with My Will, to live, to breathe and to die for only one purpose…."  (GTF, June 8, 2006)  "My Son, Who was forsaken and Who gave His Life on the Cross, redeemed you.  My beloved daughter, Mary, spouse of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, who was beside Him pleading for you, joins in this great gift of bringing and inviting all of you to freedom."  (GTF, Dec. 8, 2006)


Very early in His Lessons to the world through Gianna Sullivan, Our Lord spoke of the "Cross" and took some of the mystery out of it:


"So many people have said there is a mystery behind the Cross….The Cross represents the Way of goodness and the Way to eternal life!  That Is why I was crucified on a cross—because  I am the Way!…The pain I endured while carrying My Cross was intense, because I was restoring goodness and paving the path to eternal happiness.  Carrying My Cross was painful, but carrying your cross does not have to be (so) painful because I have paved the path of My Way…."


"I wish today to make this clarification on the understanding of the Cross!  The Cross is My Way, My Path.  Because I have led the Way on the path with My Cross, your passage is only lightly burdened, restoring your goodness and cleansing you for eternal life."


"Do not be afraid, My people, of the Cross….Pick up your cross joyfully, for it is your restoration to goodness and the paved passage….See the cross as freedom and as pleasure, goodness and peace--not as pain!"  (JOM, Vol  I, #52, April 23, 1989)


In her messages to the world through Gianna, Our Lady of Emmitsburg puts "suffering" in the context of God's Plan of salvation and makes all her children aware of the desires of the evil one:


"Have you ever wondered why Jesus had to suffer to be the Savior of the world?  It was the way to confound the proud and triumph over evil.  Evil planned to make a mockery of God through the world's vision that the Messiah would come as a powerful ruler, glorious and righteous.  Your Messiah is powerful, glorious and righteous; and He is also humble.  Humility is a trait evil cannot portray in any way.  Jesus came into the world with swords of humility and love to slay evil….The evil one would like you to fear suffering.  He does not want you to humble yourself; or to join your sufferings to Jesus….He would like you to seek all ways to avoid suffering.  Do not be afraid if you experience suffering.  It slays the works of evil, confounds the proud, and grants you a redemptive crown of glory."  (Public OLOE, Feb. 25, 1999)


This fear of suffering, fear of the cross, is something that has plagued humanity for all time.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg first discussed this with Gianna in 1994:


"There are so many of my children who suffer because they have kept their distance from God….The Cross is the connection to suffering with joy and love in union with my Son.  Those who carry the Cross of My Son are co-redemptors of His Love through His salvation and Mercy…."


"Do not fear the Cross….Join together, little children, and unite with my Son in the joyful suffering of love of your cross….The suffering of Love is one of joy, freedom, surrendering, abandonment, even though painful many times.  This is due to sanctification, purification, wholeness and becoming Love….Please do not fear the Joy of His Cross He desires to share with you….Pray, and you will desire His Cross as He desires to gift you with it."  (Public OLOE, July 7, 1994)


Oftentimes this fear of the Cross is rooted in our lack of understanding; however, Our Lord as revealed in the Gospel, as well as our Our Lady, have given us the role models we need to understand the value of the Cross:


"If you suffer affliction, persecution or opposition from the world, do not fear.  My Son lived a life filled with difficulty, outrage and persecution….When my Son gives you His virtues, do not be surprised when they are met with opposition and you suffer the persecution and scoffing of the world….No servant is greater than His Master….Nothing unfolds in this world without God's permission.  You may not understand, little ones, but with time you will come to understand how everything is providential and serves God…Be not afraid!" (Public OLOE, March 23, 1995)


"Purification" is a term that is frequently used in the discussions and messages concerning suffering and the Cross.  It generally implies the act or process of making something or someone free from imperfection or free from sin and the effects of sin.  Our Lady explains:


"God cleanses and purifies so that all who desire Him will be free from the chains of worldly possessions.  Your heart must be free for God….The purification can take many forms.  To some, passive purgation involving emotions takes place; and yet, to others the soul is suspended awaiting God to uplift it.  In all forms, the outcome is the purging of the soul in order that the human will be united with the Divine Will….It is the intellect which attempts to control the human will.  Conflict of the two continues until the soul is purged and trusts unconditionally in God's Way of Love.  The passions of this life are to be purged of unruly affections and desires in order to be united to the Divine Will of God…."


"Hope in Jesus and allow Him to cleanse the temple of your inner self.  Do not fear anything.  Rejoice in His glory and honor."  (Public OLOE, July 18, 1996)


Many people find themselves in devastating and almost hopeless circumstances, some due to no specific fault or weakness of their own, some due to unjust victimization or harassment, some due to poor personal choices, and some due to either a conscious or unconscious rejection of God's Love and Truth.  For these reasons, there can be for many almost a fear of healing because of what that might entail.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg, however, tries to reassure her children about this:


"Do not be afraid to allow Jesus to heal you of your many wounds inflicted upon you over the course of your lives….My Son can change any paralyzing circumstance which has caused devastation and wounds into something good if you allow Him the opportunity.  Nothing is impossible with God….Do not lose hope.  Do not despair…Speak the Truth…You must be solid in your commitment to follow the Way of My Son if you are to be planted on sturdy ground for futuristic events of purification.  You are about to enter an era of cleansing which will lead to peace, true Peace in my Son."  (Public OLOE, Oct. 21, 1999)


Too many of us are constantly trying to run ahead of God.  We are more worried about tomorrow's cross than today's, and in doing so are demonstrating over and over to God that we do not truly trust Him.  Our Lady in her messages through Gianna beautifully teaches her children about this relationship between the suffering and the crosses of her children and God's grace:


"Little ones, focus on what needs to be done now, and do not worry about what needs to be done later or how difficult it may be.  Concentrate on the present moment because Jesus gives you the grace necessary with each situation.  I have told you that God gives you the grace necessary to carry your cross today.  Tomorrow's grace will come.  You cannot carry tomorrow's cross with the grace you have received today….It is not by your own strength that you are able to manage your difficulties.  It is by the grace of God….Cooperate with His grace.  Realize that by yourself you are not able to manage your difficulties…."(     )


Many of you are filled with anxiety due to an illness; many of you are fearful of the aging process; and many of you are afraid to die.  Do you not realize that God has the last say in all things?...Once you realize your crosses are carried by grace, then you will be at peace and grow in the protection of His Love."  (Public OLOE, March 12, 1998)


How best then can we overcome this fear of suffering and the Cross? If it can be overcome, then there has to be a way that is simple and freely available to all, if it is from God Whose Love knows no favoritism.   Our Lady also addresses this very probing question:


"Those who are close to my Son and who follow Him suffer tremendously."  (Private OLOE, Oct. 4, 2008)  "Do not be afraid to step into the darkness of His Passion because this is where your victory and glory in my Son are fulfilled.  This is where you will be able to identify with Him, in your trial of faith; and this is how you become beautiful and are transformed in His Love.  All that matters is Love."  (Public OLOE, Sept. 7, 2000"You will do well to ponder the Passion and Death of my Son.  Even your last thought of my Son's agony on the Cross for your salvation will submerge you into His Most Sacred Heart.  His Holy Cross and Death delivered you from the darkness of death….Venerate His Holy Cross, even in your unworthiness, and you will be delivered from hell; for Jesus is your Savior and He is merciful….He awaits you to dress His Wounds with your love….Humble yourself and repent…Do not fear, but have hope!"  (Public OLOE, Aug. 26, 1999)


When each of us looks around the world and sees all the suffering, it is hard not to be fearful.  We with our families and friends may already be immersed in suffering, or, on the other hand, our lives may be relatively free from suffering.  Each of us might ask, "If there is no "end run" around the Cross, and if one cannot experience the Glorious Mysteries without passing through the Sorrowful Mysteries, then what is my cross if I give God my "fiat"?  And what is my cross if I do not give God my "fiat"?  Our Lady addresses that question:


"Only those who have known the depth and breadth of suffering can really enjoy the breadth and depth of the glorious Resurrection.  It is only when you immerse yourself in suffering and embrace the Cross; when you kiss it and take it with you; when not being afraid of it, you allow it to be embedded into the very fiber of your being; that then as He died, you die with Him; and as He rose, you also rise with Him.  His Death and Resurrection are inseparable, they are glorious, and they are redemptive!"


"All that you desire will be fulfilled within the one act of your "fiat", as was in my "fiat".  Your cross may be within your heart, interior.  Your cross may be exterior and physical.  Your cross may be psychological, emotional or spiritual.  At whatever level it is, it is the true Cross; and the Resurrection and Glory it brings is all-encompassing and wipes out the past, making all anew!"  (Private OLOE, April 15, 2006)


St. Paul to the Galatians:

"For I, through the law, am dead to the law,

that I may live for God.  With Christ I am nailed to the cross….

But God forbid that I should glory,

save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ;

by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world."

(Gal 2:19, 6:14)





Jesus to the rich young man:

"If you wish to be perfect,

go, sell what you have and give to the poor,

and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow Me."

(Mt 19:21)



In His "Words" to the world through Gianna, God the Father establishes the priorities:


"I am the God of Abraham!…Was not I the One Who brought you out of slavery?  Was it not I Who gave you good things and food to eat and water to drink?  Is it not I Who should receive the glory?  How soon you forget and seek other means and diversions and enticements!"  (GTF, Aug. 8, 2006"What would you like?  In each of your minds and hearts, due to your free will, you are given many graces and options.  Perhaps you would want more material means, power and prestige."  (GTF, June 8, 2006)


Surrender and abandoning to God's Will, trusting and with conviction taking a risk for God, and even the words "at all costs" can most certainly generate a very real human fear of loss--loss of not only control, but loss of position, prestige, material possessions and wealth, security and safety.  Our Lady warns of the dangers in those very real fears:

"God is your Father.  Give Him your life.  Do not be afraid to give Him yourself.  Many people are afraid to give themselves unconditionally to God for fear of losing their freedom and not being able to live their own lives according to their plans and desires.  They fear they will be unhappy and filled with misfortune.  The truth, however is just the opposite….God's Plan of Love covers all areas, even those acts which fall outside His Plan.  He can turn something that appears bad into something good."
 (Public OLOE, Feb. 12, 1998)


"God sees what is necessary for your soul to gain eternal bliss.  Do not complain or despair when you are faced with trials.  God has allowed them for your salvation, whether they consist of illness, persecution, loss of a loved one or loss of wealth.  God is with you, and all that unfolds is for your salvation."  (Public OLOE, June 13, 1996)


"Do not be fearful of being overlooked or losing your position within your community….Do not be more concerned about your own advancement than about the desires of God.  Do not be envious or compete for favoritism.  God will bless all of you and give you the grace to share the gift of kindness with others….God has unlimited Love to give and desires to give to you."  (Public OLOE, April 27, 2000)


There seems to be an instinctive drive in humanity to protect what one has for fear of losing it or of not being able to regain it if it is shared.  Our Lady notes that things were no different in the time of the Apostles:


"When my Son walked the earth, He spoke often times of His Passion; yet, few believed that their Savior would be one who would suffer.  It is the same today.  You have different expectations of Him, just as did His Apostles, who thought they knew what the Messiah would be like….God desires you to live in unity without fear, but oftentimes you pull back from community because of fear in order to protect yourselves from intruders; and when you do this, you lose what you are trying to protect.  My Son said, 'Whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whosoever loses his life for Me will save It.'  There are two ways to live, little ones, a way of love or a way of fear.  Do not be fearful children, but trust in God and have hope."  (Public OLOE, July 27, 2000)


Our Lord In His Lessons speaks also of this fear of loss and the consequences of that fear:


"My people with indifference and disinterest in correcting their sin continue to act like blind ones, pretending not to see their ways.  They fear the loss of their position or material goods; and they are deprived of the light of knowledge and of all grace, all because of their lukewarm hearts and disinterest.  They do not correct their faults.  They do not attempt to pray unless they receive consolation in return.  They do not stand firm in penance, so they are blind and confounded in guilt…." (JOM, Vol V, Feb.  6, 1995)


Our Lord  in His Lessons also provides both  reassurance and a promise:


"It is a challenge when you surrender your control to Me, but not a loss to you.  You will never be cheated from My Love.  Your surrendering will only be fruitful and rewarding."  (JOM, Vol IV, #39, July 25, 1992)


But for those who remain stifled by their fear of loss, Our Lord explains:


"By seeking self-gain in the world, they will see what they have depleted from their souls through the loss of treasures in Heaven.  Evil does exist and its subtleties linger and fall prey on any soul complacent or indifferent to unconditional Love and Mercy.  No doubt My servants will suffer interiorly and perhaps exteriorly because of the current conditions of the world which do not render love without self-gain…."


"So few have listened to My words.  Many are still not listening…Power, materialism and prestige have masked the truth of dignity….Politicians debating other politicians and leaders of other countries are all seeking their own self-gain.  Few seek to uphold the truth of mercy and love for freedom in the world.  This lack of genuine love and service will only be manifested in the current devastations existing in the world…."


"Evil would like you to believe you have no power to control or eliminate its forces of existence.  But I tell you otherwise.  Through Love, evil cannot exist.  Unity, harmony and mercy are the artillery to win the battle through Love.  This may mean you may not be always at the forefront in the areas of prestige, power or self-righteousness.  Love has no boundaries, and the first areas evil attacks are those areas of pride, self-gain, materialism, and power--the masks of falsehood and obstacles to freedom….But there is hope for the future of mankind, a hope founded in Love.  For evil's reign is close to an end!"  (JOM, Vol V, #28, Nov. 2, 1995)


And so what can we do to avoid a true loss?  Our Lord responds:


"Be at peace and resigned to listen and pray and to do good according to the pleasure of God, and you will not be at a loss….If you are humble of heart, continuously searching to please God and tending to heavenly things, you will secure a lasting foundation, one seeded in great wisdom and purity." (JOM, Vol IV, #31, July 17, 1992)





Do Good


"Do not love the world or the things of the world.

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world,

sensual lust, enticement for the eyes and a pretentious life,

is not from the Father but is from the world."

(1 Jn 2:15-16)



Fear of Change


Jesus to the disciples:

"Amen, I say to you,

unless you change and become like little children,

you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever humbles himself like this child

is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven"

(Mt 18:3-4)


"Change" implies a newness of a being, a passing from the mere possibility to the actuality.  Change for the sake of change alone can have no moral consequence; however, change can be for the good or for the bad.  To ensure change is for the good, it must be consistent with God's Will; and the true freedom to change is a right we all desire, but it is good only if it is in accord with God's  Will for our lives.


Certainly the political "buzz word" on the political scene in the United States over the last couple years has been "change."  Many have come to believe (if they were not already aware of it) that this change is not all in accord with God's Will.  Way before this election cycle in the United States, Our Lady began warning of the need to change.  More recently, in 2005, following the events of Hurricane Katrina, she said:


"God is good!  His creation is good.  All He does is good.  From the beginning of time, creation was good.  The end of time will also be good.  In between times, the turmoil, the tribulation and the purgations due to humanity and original sin are there.  Much has been mitigated, but some things simply cannot be….I invited all the children of God to join together and to unite in prayer.  How often have I said, 'There is no time for fear, only time for change!'  I outlined futuristic events, not dealing with specific times per se, but with situations."


Now look and see how many sorrowful hearts there are, wounded and in need of love and nourishment, in need of comfort and compassion.  Now I continue to beckon humanity, 'Come, there is still time; and this time can change, not through division, but through Love.'  A purgation is necessary for good to unfold.  Change happens through good will.  My plan continues to unfold, not as human souls would

imagine, but as a plan which can only be Divine….Tomorrow will come, whether my children are present in body or in spirit, tomorrow will come, and ultimately God will be victorious because my Immaculate Heart will reign!"  (Private OLOE, Sept 2, 2005)


Each and every person is on their own spiritual journey.  None of us knows what another's journey entails, the incentives of their hearts, or the graces which God has supplied them.  It does seem, however, that many people have no clue or comprehension how they might approach change.  To these Our Lady has said:


"There is always time for things to change in the world through  prayer….However, if each person, even if they doubt, gives and tries, they will not be disappointed.  The more they give and try, the more God will bless them.  The more they receive, the more they will desire.  But the first act must be an act of free will--that of giving and trying, not analyzing, and not of slander or calumny, nor trying to prove themselves right by their righteousness or through their wisdom or studies.  It is through humility and charity."  (Private OLOE, Sept. 19, 2009)


In fact, Our Lady provides an example of how even those chosen by God for a pivotal role in His Plan of salvation often had to make a dramatic change.  She asks:


"What would have happened if Peter, who denied my Son, could not have forgiven?  And yet, in his bitterness, he was able to change.  Fear, pride, righteousness, one's reputation and other elements can dissuade someone; but in the end, an Act of Contrition and a heart willing to serve will always be at the forefront and make someone stronger, so as to be a pillar of Light."  (Private OLOE, May 123, 2008)


Yes, it does take time to change.  And how much time do we have left to change?  Do today's youth have the 20-30 years it took so many of us to change?  Our Lady addresses this question of time:


"God's time is mysterious.  It is not like human time.  When I mention anything of the near future of God's time, you can relate it to a time indefinable, but yet could be definable.  For instance, because of God's patience and Love for all, a year or two could be just that or it could be longer.  It is related to the Love of God in His infinite Wisdom.  That is why many things change--through prayer."


"So, remember:  A period of time could be as soon as today; and yet, due to the mystery of God in His Love and Light and patience, it could be longer.  Therefore, it is truly indefinable.  But this should not stop you or inhibit you from preparing as I have asked.  Because of one's passions, no one could be truly ready at a moment's notice.  It takes time to change and time to alleviate your fear."  (Private OLOE, May 22, 2008)



God the Father in His "Words" to the world through Gianna concludes with His own sentiments about "change":


"This world as you know it will turn one day, through My intervention, into a world of beauty, not as you know it, but as I created it to be.  But sorrowful will you be through a change that is painful and filled with suffering because of the lack of trust."  (GTF, May 8, 2007"For those who do not know change, this is an invitation to change; for those who have changed and know not where else to go, a new revelation and an unveiling of a new door."  (GTF, July 8, 2007"You do not know the blessing at hand.  If you did, life as you know it would be lived differently.  So, because of this, life as you know it will change to become a life for the few who know it as it is.  They will have full grasp of all of its glory and fruitfulness.”   (GTF, May 8, 2008)


"For you who have eyes to see and ears to hear, could you be more blessed than to receive and to listen?  All She (Our Lady) has unveiled to you is unfolding.  Are you dismayed, or perhaps, many even frightened?  Are you astounded, or do you not care?  Do you continue to desecrate, or do you change and have hope fulfilled with the faith of Love?"  (GTF, Oct. 8, 2008)


So many of her children have been trying to change and have for so many years been praying for change.  One could even say that many are even becoming impatient for change.  Understanding this, Our Lady of Emmitsburg reassures her children:


"I know you desire peace.  I know you will respond.  I know you desire change.  I know your heart cries out for healing from all the wounds inflicted upon you from this world….Like day is to night, there will be a change; and in that change, at a time of God's choosing, will come renewal.  All will have a choice.  All can be renewed….Thank you for your love.  Thank you for your trust.  Thank you for being a child of God.  Your 'fiat' is a fiat that says "yes."  All things can change through this."  (Private OLOE, Aug. 25, 2008)   "It only takes a few to change the world, a few people who are committed and devoted to the Truth at all costs."  (JOM, Vol V, #22, Oct. 5, 1995)



Jesus to the remaining eleven apostles:

"Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature….

These signs will accompany those who believe:

in My Name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.

They will pick up serpents with their hands,

and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.

They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover."

(Mk 16:15-18)