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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Our uncontrolled fears can lead us into deadly sins

Our uncontrolled fears can lead us into deadly sins

Paul V. Esposito is a lawyer who lives with his wife Kathy and their six children in Illinois. The following edited article deals with fear and life.

“We’ve all had great thoughts of accomplishment. But something stopped us. Often, fear got in the way. Yet fear is a good thing when it protects us from harm. It’s good to be afraid to pick up a rattlesnake. Fear can also be paralyzing. It can be the difference between achieving success and knowing failure or the difference between doing right and wrong.

“Our uncontrolled fears can lead us into deadly sins. Pride, the root of all sin, is our fear of imperfection; we constantly try to elevate ourselves, even if it means walking all over others. In envy, we fear that we will never have what others possess. Anger is the fear that people who won’t listen to our thoughts or follow our example will take control over us.

“Sloth is the fear of failure, a fear that keeps us from ever beginning. Greed is the fear of insufficiency that keeps us always wanting more; we are rarely satisfied. Gluttony is the fear of starvation that keeps us eating and drinking, even to great excess. Lust is the fear of losing control of power or control over a person, a fear that drives us to dominate.

“Our fears find their way into the sin of abortion. Polls suggest that more than 80% of all abortions are obtained because of fear. When a woman learns that she is expecting an unwanted child, her world seemingly closes in on her. She is fearful of telling her partner or parents. She is frightened by the possible reactions of classmates or colleagues. Worst of all, she fears the loss of the life she has known for herself. She sees her hopes and dreams for herself fly out the window, maybe never to return. She is afraid of whether she is up to the task of motherhood, a task she had not planned.

“The mother is faced with choosing among the least of three evils: keeping the baby, offering the baby for adoption, or aborting the baby. She dismisses the first. She does not want a baby. She dismisses the second because she imagines that the baby will be neglected.

“She comes to the third, knowing that taking a life is wrong. But the fear turns her inward. In her fear, she cannot think beyond herself. She decides, willing to accept the consequences yet she has no idea if she can handle those consequences.

“When most women walk into an abortion mill, what they present is their fear. Instead of helping them overcome their fears, the abortionists kill their babies – for a tidy profit. Killing does not relieve fear; it creates guilt. We cannot allow frightened women to believe that the greatest of all evils is the least of them.

“How does a woman cope with a fear inside her? She copes by turning from herself to the other. That is where love finds its fullest expression. Love drives out fear. In loving she will know the even greater love that God has for her. The Most High did not create life in her only to abandon her to her fears. Knowing she is loved, she can move forward with great hopes for herself and her baby.

“Impossible? A young virgin was told that she would conceive and bear a son. She embraced her pregnancy as God’s will for her. She understood that God had given her a great gift, a gift that magnified his greatness. She proclaimed aloud that God was always there for her, a humble and lowly servant, just as the Almighty is there for anyone who is weak and needy. She found support in a humble husband who knew that this was God’s own doing. Mary overcame whatever fears she felt by embracing the angel’s words, ‘Nothing will be impossible for God.’ It is God’s assurance to every struggling mother.”