Part VI of a 7 Part Series

Part VII of an 12 Part Series

 

FEAR

“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, strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger, and 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 represent a lack of trust in God’s Providence.

 

 

Part VII

Fear of the Message

 

Jesus to the scribes:

"The first is this:  'Hear, O' Israel!  The Lord our God is Lord alone

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,

with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 

The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 

There is no commandment greater than these."

(Mk 12: 29-31)

 

If we are to ponder the "Fear of the Message," then we must ask ourselves, "What is the message?" and "Why would we want to follow it?"  Our Lord answers this second question in His Lessons to the world:

 

"You bring Me glory when you live my Gospel words.  You bring Me glory when you love one another.  You bring Me glory when you have mercy.  You bring Me glory when you are faithful and obedient.  You bring Me glory through simple prayers of thanksgiving.  I, Who share My glory, bring you glory by glorifying you in Me and in My Father!"  (JOM, Vol I, #24, Dec. 29, 1988)

 

Loving one's neighbor as oneself can be difficult on two accounts:  first, in loving and forgiving one's neighbor; but secondly, and often even more difficult, in loving and forgiving oneself.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg in her messages to the world shares this encouragement:

 

"Little ones, do not be hard on yourself when you find you have made mistakes or have failed in responding to God's Love.  Be loving and merciful towards yourself, for God is Love and Mercy.  Only God is perfect, and only when you dwell with the angels in Heaven will you be free from sin.  God loves you in your weakness and invites you to trust in Him so that you can grow in holiness and humility.  If you seek to love as God loves you and to do His Will, God can turn your human weakness into a strong pillar to house great graces and virtues."  (Public OLOE, May 11, 1995)

 

Jesus to the crowds at the Sermon on the Mount:

"You have heard it said that,

'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

But I say to you, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

that you may be children of your heavenly Father,

for He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good,

and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?

Do not the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet your brothers only,

what is unusual about that?  Do not the pagans do the same?

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'"

(Mt 5: 43-48)

 

In Old Testament times, Moses was given by God the Ten Commandments for the Israelites, and subsequently for the Judeo-Christian faithful and for the world.  Our Lord built on these with the Two Greatest Commandments of Love, and went so far as to extend this to even love of enemies.  In His Sermon on the Mount, Our Lord said "Blessed" are all those who normally would be ignored or even scorned in a selfish, secular world:  the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted and insulted for His sake.  To each He made great promises.

 

This is the Gospel message!  So what's new in private revelation?  Nothing!  Our Lady of Emmitsburg explained this to the world:

 

"My Son lived a Mission!  His Mission was to proclaim the Gospel.  There are people today who desire to live a mission and who may even think they are living a mission.  However, their mission must always be for the glory of God…..What a tremendous downfall it will be for those who feel so secure and so padded in love and affection when they find out that their 'love' was self-serving instead of Divine."    (Private OLOE, Sept. 13, 20006)

 

"Many people have different interpretations of my words, which are causing fear and confusing discussions….If people lived the Word of my Son in the Gospel, there would be no need of my visitation.  It is because there is a large percentage of the world who are indifferent to His Truth that I come to plead and invite all to return to Him…..Unless people become centered on Jesus in prayer and His True Presence in the Eucharist; and unless they live a sacramental life, His Truth will only continue to be diluted by the pollution of sin; and fear will become the end product."  (Public OLOE, Oct. 28, 1999)

 

Throughout history many people have tried to alter the standards of following the Gospel; however, Our Lady corrects this error:

 

"Little children, do not alter your standards of following the Gospel in order to satisfy the needs of others.  Never deviate from the Truth of His Word….You cannot change His words and live dishonest lives and then conceive that Peace could even exist.  There is only one way and that way is the Way of my Son in His Word of the Gospel….I plead with you that you hold fast to His Word and not deviate from His stance on Truth, or you will suffer tremendously through the hands of man."  (Public OLOE, Feb. 24, 1994)  "If you seek to please man, while avoiding the Truth of God outlined in His Word of the Gospel, then you will jeopardize your freedom and position of attaining eternal bliss at the time of your Final Judgment before Him."  (Public OLOE, Mar. 3, 1994)

 

Human beings are not born knowing the Gospel, understanding the Gospel, and prepared to live the Gospel to its fullest.  However, in His Divine Providence, God knows how often each of His children may fall and stray.  Yet, our faith teaches us that God's grace is far greater than our failures, and that Jesus is a far greater Savior than we are sinners.  So Our Lady of Emmitsburg continues to challenge us:

 

"Little ones, live the Gospel to the fullest….Jesus loves each one of you very much, and desires you to know what is the Truth, and how it will set you free….If your heart is wounded, Jesus will heal you, if you acknowledge your need to be healed and the need to change so that you can live the Gospel….To have a pure heart, you must know and accept the truth---the truth about yourself and the Truth of the Gospel.  Your actions will reflect the purity of your heart."  (Public OLOE, June 11, 1998)  "Return to God, little ones.  Turn away from sin, and remain faithful to the Gospel.  So important is this message for all my children, of all ages, of all races and of all creeds.  God is the God of Abraham.  You are all children of God.  Make no mistake about it, that to meet your Creator face to face you must be pure, humble and childlike in spirit.  Trust in God!" (Public OLOE, Feb. 4, 22007)

 

Thus, through His Gospel Message Our Lord is calling all of humanity to discipleship.  In His Lessons to the world, He outlines 10 steps to discipleship:

 

1.  Put your trust in Me, your Lord God….

2.  Never be self-righteous, but allow Me to be righteous in you….

3.  Pray that My Father's Will be done, and accept it….

4.  Rejoice in Me and in Him Who has sent Me….

5.  Never worry….

6.  Love unconditionally….

7.  Never give up hope.  When you fail, try again….

8.  Carry your cross….Suffering brings glory and justice….

9.  Seek the Kingdom of God….Allow you’re actions to speak….

   10.  Always be honest….

 

"These steps are for all My people whom I invite to discipleship.  I have come to restore dignity and respect through My Mercy.  Those who practice these steps are My disciples in whom My Mercy flows, restoring dignity to mankind."  (JOM, Vol III, #4, May 21, 1990)

 

This process of changing, of returning to God and of loving unconditionally is a process that is dependent on the desire of the one seeking the Truth and the grace of God Who is that Truth.  The Catholic Dictionary defines "conversion" as any turning or changing from a state of sin to repentance, from a lax to a fervent way of life, from unbelief to faith, and from a non-Christian religion to Christianity.  Our Lord in His Lessons describes conversion as a slow process:

 

"As you pray for conversion (your own and that of others), the seed is sown in the soil.  Conversion is a silent process, one which only I see.  Once the seed is sown, the process is slow, slow in order to be nourished and to grow into blossom.  As My people convert, they must absorb and accept the seed.  Then silently, they reflect and slowly grow…..Once the seed is sown into the heart, the soil becomes rich and silently changes the person by perfecting the soul.  If the seed is not sown, then try again and again, until there's no mistake that the soil is too bad to accept the seed.  The soil is man's heart; the seed, My Goodness.  Once the seed is sown, My goodness spreads through the field and kills the field of wickedness….Man does not know what phase of conversion his fellow brethren are journeying.  Only I know!  Only the seed knows the stage of growth.  However, pray for all; and this shall fertilize the soil.  As sinners convert, the more will My loving grace and the tender words and loving actions from My people assist in conversion."  (JOM, Vol II, #32, Dec. 31, 1989) 

 

Our Lady, too, tells us how salvation comes through our weaknesses and sinfulness:

 

"In the conversion of heart, sinfulness and uncharitable actions are changed through Love and Mercy….Great salvation comes to the weak through their sincere effort in loving.  Even in sinfulness, as ones loves and tries to live in purity, one does not fail, but is strengthened in humility and in charity."  (Public OLOE, July 29, 1994)

 

To live the Gospel life to which all mankind is being called, and to live in his Truth, it would seem that growth in all virtues would be one of the expected fruits; however Our Lord calls even more specifically:

 

"I call all of mankind to restore the components of love, mercy, compassion, respect, dignity and honesty.  Pray that Love, through simpleness without conditions, will return through the openness of mankind!"  (JOM, Vol IV, #7, Nov 3, 1991)

 

Central, however, in Our Lord's Lessons and throughout all the mystical gifts from God is the call to "Love and Mercy":

 

"Love is a communion in which charity allows you to attain 'It' in My Goodness.  I am 'It' because I am Love, because “I am.”  Love is gentleness, kindness and submissive thankfulness.  Love keeps guard over all the senses.  It is being chaste and sober and in union with fidelity to God.  It is not intent upon vain things.  Love is patient, courageous, prudent, long-suffering, and never seeking self…."

 

"Mercy is the Divine power of My Love which flows out onto those in need….Mercy is the missing link in loving because you cannot love without being able to have mercy….Mercy is Love.  Mercy is the Union with God.  Union with God is certainty of victory and eternal abundance of virtues, which lead to an eternal seat in the Kingdom.  There are 3 ways to exercise Mercy:  by deed, by word and by prayer. Mercy is the unquestionable proof of love for Me!"  (JOM, Vol IV, #92, Sept. 15, 1992)

 

 

In speaking of that Love and Mercy, Our Lady of Emmitsburg frequently reassures her children:

 

"I am not your Savior.  Jesus is your only Savior.  I go before Him and humbly bow my head in praise and thanksgiving for His Love and Mercy.  Without His Love, life would cease to exist….I plead for you before Him….I am the Mother of God.  I am not God.  I am pleased to be His faithful and humble handmaid.  I am also your Mother.  I am pleased to protect you as a mother protects her child.  I am pleased to direct you to Jesus and present you to your King in a manner most desirable to Him."  (Public OLOE, Mar. 19, 1998)  "I bring to you the words of God's Love so you will know that you are not alone in these times of confusion and despair.  God is with you.  His Love and Mercy are unending."  (Public OLOE, May 23, 1996)  "Only those of you who embrace the Truth of His Love without conditions will be inebriated by His Love and radiate His Joy and Love and Mercy." (Public OLOE, June 10, 1999)   "Love and Mercy shall save the world!"  (Public OLOE, Mar. 18, 1999)

 

"It is my desire to guide you in the way of Love and Mercy.  I have mentioned the consequences of a failing world without God and without Love.  This is not to cause fear, but to awaken souls and to protect them from destruction.  Love is the only solution to life.  Please ponder My Son's Love for you and be renewed by being instruments of His Mercy.  The children I am gathering are children of unconditional Love and Mercy."  (Public OLOE, Feb. 6, 1997)  "But if people avoid God's Love and Mercy, love and mercy will cease to exist and the greatest enemy against man will be man."  (Public OLOE, May 11, 1995)

 

In closing this section, it always seems appropriate to ponder the words of God the Father:

 

"I am God, your Father of Love and Mercy!  I tend to your souls.  As your Creator, I give to you all things that are good, just as I have given before to your first parents, Adam and Eve.  I have continued to be merciful through the Death and Resurrection of My Son.  How pleased I am that you come to Him, and through Him you come to Me!  The sinless Virgin only directs the Way.  She purifies and cleanses you, as a Mother makes ready her children for a most glorious event.  I have waited and longed for you, children of humanity, to draw close to Me and to reap the tremendous gifts of fruits of My Most Merciful Love."  (GTF, Oct. 8, 2006)

 

 

"If a man say, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar.

 For he that loves not his brother, whom he sees,

how can he love God, whom he sees not?"

(1 Jn 4:20)

 

 

"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

(Mt 6:12)

 

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy!"

(Mt 5:7)

 

 

 

 

"What in the world are we afraid of?"

 

The Message?