Fear itself

I began this experiment with public sharing of my thoughts a bit over three years ago shortly after I suffered a pulmonary embolism. I felt a need to write and discovered that I can write and some like my sister and son believe that I should continue. It’s been an interesting and informative way for me to reflect on what’s going on. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on my ideas that I would not have received otherwise. Some of the discussions have helped me to better understand issues or gain some insight I might never have gained otherwise.

Lately, I’ve been without words but not without thoughts, just the inability or unwillingness to express them. I’ve been thinking about retiring for nearly a year now. Some of the events of the last year pushed me in that direction and others have pulled me back. On Friday another such event led me to strongly consider the retirement option again. Fear is the only thing holding me back. Franklin Roosevelt said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear can cripple and it’s been crippling me. It’s in these moments that I am drawn back to the wise counsel of one of my spiritual advisors who years ago told me never to put limits on the power of God. Not the God of religion but God as I understood Him. This same guy gave me a book nearly twenty-five years ago which is still in my library, “The Conquest of Fear,” by Basil King. My friend’s wise counsel and King’s book have come to my aid many times and from it’s pages sprang the hope that makes even today possible.

It’s up to you to do this thing just as if you had all the facilities. Go at it boldly, and you’ll find unexpected forces closing round you and coming to your aid.–Basil King, Conquest of Fear

This morning finds me sitting in my hermitage, writing this reflection and reading the words of Basil King and considering too all of sacred scripture and all the other wisdom texts I know and love and what they have to say on this subject.

5 Replies to “Fear itself”

  1. Hi, Don–

    I just attended Pentecost Mass at the Saint Barbara Parish in Santa Barbara, California. There was a celebration of ministries, and one of the banners was Secular Franciscan. A light went ON for me! 🙂 I hurried home to find out more about it, and have found your blog.

    So, I just wanted you to know that I’m here, and I will be soaking up this lovely space you have created.

    Grace and peace,
    Mary Hershey

  2. Thank you Brother Charles for you prayers. Mary, I recommend that you take at look at the National Website of the Secular Franciscan Order. There is a lot of information that you will find informative about the Secular Franciscan vocation and it is a true vocation in the church as it is a secular order dating back to St. Francis himself. There is a reasonably good article about the Secular Franciscan Order on Wikipedia. Here is the link.

    1. Thank you, Don. Coming to your blog now is such a restful experience… I’m struck by what you are sharing. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!


  3. Don,

    I hope that you find guidance and comfort in your prayers over this.

    As fearful as entering a new phase of life is, and this phase is one that places a particular emphasis on age, thus opening questions about one’s continued “usefulness,” please consider looking at it this way – At least you have the option. At least the decision is in your own hands.

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