Our time is no different than any other. But I do see it magnifying itself in so many detrimental ways which can be attributable to FEAR. Americans should be reminded of what President Roosevelt warned and confided in a speech: “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”
I am reminded of Jim Forest’s review of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s The Root of War Is Fear appearing in the MARYKNOLL magazine referencing Pope Francis’ address before Congress in 2015, naming Merton as one of four great American peacemakers. In reading this article, I was struck by the words, “A monk challenging the rule of fear.”
Our greatest American generals, naval officers and others have voiced or written that they hated war most. Going to war is sometimes necessary to avoid being run over by those who despise and have hate in their very makeup as humans. The peacemakers have to share the history of men being of both sides of a coin. On one side is war, the other is slavery. In either flip of the coin, freedom of thought and purpose is uprooted until the moral fiber we might call conscience and a rule of order established for sanity in governing our world. I think here of Abraham Lincoln’s turmoil but steady hand at the helm and wonderful stories and wit of Mark Twain–the American spirit of optimistic freedom lives.
In reality, we can experience little without the belief in God. While nations may prescribe to a particular brand, in America we find it in the Judeo-Christian ethic which uses the Bible as the link along with prayer with the Father in Heaven known as God. It is a belief of a personal relationship with the Father regardless of the numerous sects that exist under an umbrella of belief variations. It is not the physical building but the spirit within the heart and mind that is the personal relationship with God. In Heaven are many mansions; so, too, are many mansions existing for faithful worship located round the world. Blessed are those called to service.
When we resign ourselves to wallowing in fear, whatever the source or reason, our personal victory over fear comes in our spirit, adventurous nature to see the good to bind up that feeling of the bad and the ugly. It is the hope and promise given us in some manner to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes where calamities can be calmly and freely handled with spirited wisdom.
There are many causes that bring on fear. Fear can ruin a perfectly planned out attack or defense in chess play by blunting and robbing a creative idea from bearing fruit during play. It can be an alarm when your clock is running out of time. One might suffer from truth-telling for fear of reprimand by others. How the fear for lack of funds or possible abuse might cause a woman to abort a child in her womb or more evil thoughts of losing her freedom to do what she wants–selfishness is a sad motive. And we can look to teaching where students are encouraged to enter fields of study for financial considerations, for love of occupation, reward and personal feeling of fulfillment fearful of failure of future dreams and happiness.
In conclusion, fear is part of living. It can be a warning post you can either physically relate to or mental sense called intuition. The many facets that make up the word FEAR might be compared to the possible moves in chess. The only way to see it is for man to view it as being the good, the bad, and the ugly.