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Be Not Afraid

You observe that contemporary man finds it hard to return to faith because he is afraid of the moral demands that faith makes upon him. And this, to a certain degree, is the truth. The Gospel is certainly demanding. We know that Christ never permitted His disciples and those who listened to Him to entertain any illusions about this. On the contrary, He spared no effort in preparing them for every type of internal or external difficulty, always aware of the fact that they might well decide to abandon Him. Therefore, if He says, “Be not afraid!” He certainly does not say it in order to nullify in some way that which He has required. Rather, by these words He confirms the entire truth of the Gospel and all the demands it contains. At the same time, however, He reveals that His demands never exceed man’s abilities. If man accepts these demands with an attitude of faith, he will also find in the grace that God never fails to give him the necessary strength to meet those demands. The world is full of proof of the saving and redemptive power that the Gospels proclaim with even greater frequency than they recall demands of the moral life. How many people there are in the world whose daily lives attest to the possibility of living out the morality of the Gospel! Experience shows that a successful human life cannot be other than a life like theirs.

—from Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Blessed John Paul II in the chapter: “Be Not Afraid”

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