In the last reflection, we have dealt with the theme of human fear and pondered how this lack of freedom burdens us and weakens the testimony of a liberated life in Christ.
But this human fear is not only a personal burden and restriction that indirectly affects other people, it can also lead to sin.
Let us take the example that our Catholic faith is called to profess the truths of faith. However, if we are caught up in the fear of men, then there is a great danger that we will not make the good confession. This may mean denying the Lord if a testimony of us is requested.
So we see that we should not simply let this kind of fear persist. This is especially true in these times when the antichristian forces are spreading more and more, have also entered the Church and are threatening the faithful.
It is important that we perceive the fear of human beings. It may well be that it is a behaviour that has already become a habit and that one does not really notice the lack of personal freedom.
So how do you overcome the fear of man and the associated anxiety?
It is necessary to overcome self-centeredness, to look consistently at God, and always to ask God what is the right answer to the given situation. Looking too quickly what other people may think affects our freedom. First we have to clarify objectively the situation and then to see how we can deal with it in the right way.
So first of all we have to see things as far as possible objectivly: what is the right thing before God? We can do this through prayer, especially through the invocation of the Holy Spirit.
Here are especially two gifts of the Holy Spirit that we can ask for: the gift of the advice and the gift of strength.
The gift of the advice wants to help us to find the right light for the situation, to see it in the light of God.
The gift of strength helps us to do what we understood in God and to overcome the barriers that prevent us from doing the right thing.
It is also helpful to meditate the corresponding passages of the Scriptures, which apply to the respective situation. We should repeat these words of the Scripture and allow them to penetrate deeper and deeper into us. They will give us strength from God to release us from the self-concentration and thus from human fear. On this way we will better understand the instructions of the Holy Spirit.
Once we have learned to perceive the fear of man in us, then in concrete terms, as soon as these feelings arise, we can call upon the Holy Spirit in our heart or enter into the “prayer of the heart” and pray consistently, so that these feelings may be touched by the Spirit and be tamed in the Lord.
If we have decided to fight against the lack of freedom existing in human fear and to overcome it in Christ, we should have already asked the Lord to strengthen us if we enter in foreseeable situations in which our fear of man manifests itself.
It will be very helpful if we deal more intensively with this lack of freedom. It might be that we notice now stronger this fear. But this should not discourage us, but only more intensely challenge us to take all those steps that help to at least reduce this freedom.
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” is what Jesus tells us (Jn 8,36). We should stick to this and focus consistently on the Lord in everything we do and say! As we unite more and more with the Lord day by day, we do not depend on the judgment or the supposed judgment of other people, but rather examine what is right before the Lord and can stand before Him.
This leads us to the freedom that only the Son of God can give.