January 17, 2021

A Message from Father Larry...

Reflection: Tethered to Love

“There is no fear in love…” I beg to differ. Since becoming a grandmother I’ve never been so scared in my life. Opening my heart to a baby granddaughter brought a surge of love so unexpected it is still taking time to catch my breath. With it comes the fear of something that would snatch her away from us or cause her any type of injury or pain. “Do not be afraid…,” Jesus himself says. Yet the disciples have so many reasons to be afraid: the darkest time of night on a storm-tossed sea, the sight of a ghostly figure walking on water, and a miraculous taming of the wind. Mark ends the account with a curious statement about their hardened hearts. “Perfect love drives out fear…” While it is not realistic to think we will never know fear, it needn’t be our driving force. Sinking beneath the surface of our own storm-tossed seas takes us to a place of fearless love. Surrendering to this great undercurrent softens the heart so that it might remain in the moment rather than in a constant state of anxiety over the “what-ifs” that constitutes many of our fears. It is any wonder that the symbol for hope is the anchor? When we remain in God, we tether ourselves to a love that will carry us through any storm. It is this hope that anchors me as I watch my granddaughter grow. There may be no guarantees for her absolute safety, but I can surrender my own fears to something much more enduring: the great current of Love that holds us all together.

Kathy Hendricks

(Kathy is a national religion consultant for Wm. H. Sadlier and author of several books on prayer, catechetical ministry, and spirituality. She is a spiritual director and offers talks and retreats around the country.