April 5, 2005


Be not afraid (Larry Kudlow, April 5, 2005, Townhall)

It was sometime in 1993 when I first read the great papal encyclical “Splendor of Truth,” written by Pope John Paul II. The slender book was recommended by Fr. C. John McClosky while he was counseling me during the worst personal crisis of my life: Alcohol and drug abuse were dragging me down. The problem got much worse before I finally surrendered to God, literally on my knees, and began a new life of faith -- and sobriety.

John Paul’s book had no direct advice on drugs or alcohol. But, then again, as I came to realize later, it had everything to do with these things. The book is about the need for spiritual and moral courage in choosing good over evil in our daily lives. It is about being personally accountable for our actions. It is about abiding by our conscience so that we may hear the voice of God and follow His direction.

As a full-fledged member of a twelve-step fellowship, I later learned that the biggest problem facing all those who suffer from chronic addiction is “sickness of the soul.” That’s exactly what John Paul II talks about in “Splendor of Truth.” He tells us to “be not afraid” in pursuit of the life of faith. Be not afraid to trust God. Be not afraid to stand for the right values. Be not afraid to be faithful to your spouse, or unselfish to friends, or diligent in work and the many duties of everyday life.

On a much grander scale the pope tells us to pursue right values concerning the sanctity of human life, human rights, freedom, democracy, and the redemptive value of suffering in life. He preaches a moral theology that applies to everything: Be not afraid in the pursuit of God’s will and the teachings of Jesus Christ. To live such a life requires courage, but it is precisely this moral courage that gives our lives meaning and purpose.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2005 10:59 AM
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