Wednesday, January 8, 2014


One of the things that we often condemn in young people is their sense of invincibility. They seem to charge forward into life oblivious to danger.

In fact fearlessness is actually a Christian virtue. As today's first reading reminds us

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear

The difference between our teenage fearlessness and Christian fearlessness is its source. When we are young, and sometimes when we are old, we are fearless because we have bought the mythology of limitless human possibility. "I can do anything I put my mind to." It is a fearlessness rooted in hubris.

Christian fearlessness is grounded not in ourselves but in God. If I believe in the omnipotence of God, and the unconditional love of God, then what should I fear? Whom should I fear?

The more we let go and allow ourselves to simply fall into the bottomless love of God, the more we realize that the only person whose judgement of us really matters is God, the freer we become from all fear. What does our human reputation really matter in the end? All we have to is turn on the television and see how mercurial the public's opinion is.

Some would say, "Be true to yourself." That's a little too narcissistic for my taste. I would say, "Be true to God." If each day we try our best to do the will of God, even if we fail, we can be absolutely fearless.

As St. Timothy reminds us, "If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself."