I am most grateful to everyone who took the courageous step to describe many of their personal fears. As you can see, we share many of the same fears. I am most thankful to everyone who took this first step in confronting whatever fears you may have. Now the question is: What is the second step?
Naming our fears unmask their presence and power in our lives. Whatever we are afraid of is brought into the light, where for a brief glimpse we can see it for what it really is. In that brief moment, we know that our fears cannot harm us. However, fear will always try to find its way back into the shadows of our hearts, seeking to reassert its destructive and painful power over us. So, it seems to me that the second step in facing and overcoming fear is to find a trusted friend or guide to whom you or I can sit and, with confidence that we will be taken seriously, discuss the fear that threatens to overwhelm us. Fear is best confronted when we are not alone in trying to conquer it.
Most often a person with whom we will discuss our fears will not have a simple answer that will eliminate them. They may initially have little or no advice to give. Yet, it is their very comforting and reassuring presence, their commitment to be of help and their desire to accompany as we confront our fears is truly a great gift. Their presence can give us the reassurance we need to unmask the reasons for our fears and to explore ways by which we can learn to cope with them, and even overcome them.
Jesus always asked his disciples to go out into mission two by two. When you consider the obstacles a disciple faced and the fears those obstacles created, the Lord was already giving his disciples the first two steps to overcome those fears. My friends, the time has come that we starting opening our hearts with one another and to do the same.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.