I am intrigued with books about deeper meaning. So much so that my appetite exceeds my capacity to find the time to read them all. However, recently I came a cross a book which got my attention titled, “The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at our Political Crisis,” by Martha Nussbaum. To begin with, I know what fear can do in my own life. And I see all around me a world where fear limits understanding. Good news is never as compelling as bad news; if it “bleeds it leads.” Nussbaum writes that “There’s a lot of fear around in the U.S. today, and this fear is often mingled with anger, blame, and envy. Fear, all too often, blocks rational deliberation, poisons hope, and impedes constructive cooperation for a better future.” I would add to her list my observation that fear also undermines the Spirit.
More often than not, when fear is present, the thing that can give us peace is forgotten. That thing is the presence of God’s kingdom. Often we have done everything the world says is right, only to find ourselves hopeless. Sometimes in human circumstances, we find ourselves governed by fear. And yet it’s in those very places that we find the Savior of the world. In order to remember this, meditate on the prayer that Jesus taught us, born from the divine wisdom that reminds us that, “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” And it starts with the familiar words, “Our Father who art in heaven.” This prayer reminds us that the God of creation holds all things in his hands. Through how we treat one other, we will find true peace. That is our shared human divine purpose and the common good.
The Reverend Keith Lane, Assisting Priest