Fear of the Cross
It is so hard to carry our own crosses because we resist surrendering without reserve.
by Father Nicolás Schwizer | Source:
I think each one of us has something of what could be said: “Blessed Virgin, I give everything to you,…..everything except this!” Let us think: what are the difficulties and sorrows we do not want God to send us? They can be, for example: illness in the children, dishonor, marital unhappiness, professional failure, loss of a loved one.
Fear, when facing these things, robs us of freedom and surrender or at least it makes it hesitant. We have to conquer fear because it is a force which paralyzes. It paralyzes our surrender as children and as a consequence it paralyzes our creativity as parents. Father Kentenich, the founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, was a man who not only was capable of saying yes, in spite of the fear, but he was so greatly sheltered in the heart of God and the Blessed Mother that he lost all fear.
Father Kentenich received this grace and the graces of the Founder are transmitted to the children. This grace to conquer fear he transmitted in an exemplary way to Sister Emilie Engel. She was not a person who had normal fear; she was a person psychologically sick with fear. She suffered anxiety from childhood. Father Kentenich healed her. He was able to transmit his childlike confidence to her. He can also help us to conquer our fears and anxieties.
To surrender without fear and without reserve would thus be to say to God: You can do with me whatever you want, but especially this or that before which my nature trembles. This is love for the cross in the full sense of the word.
Our Childlike Attitude
We will not be able to assume or experience this spirit if we are not convinced that God is our Father, that He loves me with eternal love and that He has traced out the plan of my life like a plan of love.
Always, also in the most difficult and painful situations, I feel like a favorite child of God. Without a deep childlike love, without a simple and confident childlikeness, it is impossible to experience perfect surrender without fear and without reserve. Only a child feels loved, secure, and sheltered. He feels inscribed in the heart of God the Father. For a child, suffering and the cross become his best diapers in joyfulness and richness as he journeys to the house of the Father.
What should be the supreme fruit of our efforts for transforming ourselves into new persons, into mature and complete persons? The great fruit should be: to grow decisively into being a child, to conquer heroic childlikeness before God the Father. It is childlikeness which makes me acknowledge with heroic humility my miseries. It is childlikeness with heroic confidence that takes me to the loving arms of the Father. It is childlikeness with heroism that leads me to surrender to the God of my life, to the Father of mercy forever.
In the opinion of Father Kentenich, childlikeness is the only way which amid the chaos of the times gives us mysterious clarity and instinctive security. It is also the great remedy which heals the sickness of modern man: anxiety with all its derivations. Nervousness is the loss of the soul’s balance. The soul has lost its compass. It is adrift. It is not centered on God nor sheltered in Him. The only solution for this sick man of today is to lead him to God and root him deeply into the heart of the Father.
Questions for Meditation
1. Is it easy for me to accept the will of the Father in adversities?
2. What do I feel today when I hear the phrase: “God, do with me what you will?”
3. Am I a nervous person, easily anxious?
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