St. Joseph Province

Missionaries Of Compassion

“Do as I have done” Jn 13,15


There was once a young man who was afraid of everyone and everything: of cars, of the darkness, of people and animals, and of the likes of you and me. But he wanted to be brave. So one day he went away to learn how to overcome his fear. First he visited a pilot who was used to making long flights across the ocean. “A person doing something like that, surely can have no fear,” the boy said to himself. And so he asked the pilot, “Are you ever afraid?” The pilot nodded his head and said, “Oh, yes. Sometimes I’m afraid that my radar will break down when I’m flying in the fog and I might end up against a mountain top. And sometimes I’m also afraid that someone might hide a bomb in my plane. Sometimes I also get afraid that I might get a heart attack while flying. And sometimes I just get afraid and don’t know why.” “What do you do about these different fears?” the lad wanted to know. The pilot answered, “I just fly the best I can. I am careful, but I leave it at that; and just continue with my job.” Then the boy went to see a racing car driver. He had driven on tracks where many another racer had been hurt. The boy asked him, “Do you ever get afraid?” “Oh, yes,” he answered. “I fear that I might be carried off the track on a stretcher and my car will roll over and catch on fire. I am also afraid that I might collide with another car and both us drivers could be handicapped for life. I also fear the day when I’ll no longer be able to win …. and sometimes I’m afraid and don’t know why.” At that the young man asked, “And what do you do in a case like that?” The driver answered, “Well, I do everything to the best of my ability, and just keep on going.” Then the young lad went to a matador, who fights bulls in the arena. Often he stands right in front of the bull and has to kill the animal or be killed himself. The lad asked, “As you stand there, are you afraid?” “You bet I am. That bull could move faster than I and get his horns through me. I’m afraid to give the public a bad show and be made fun of by the spectators. I also dread the day when I won’t be able to fight bulls any more ….. and sometimes I’m afraid of things, and I can’t explain why.” The boy had the same old question, “Then, what do you do about all these fears?” The toreador just said, “I just try my best and let it go at that.”

On closer examination you realize that all three answers were substantially the same. On every occasion you try to do the best you can and keep going right on. Never run away.

Someone had rightly said: “Bravery is nothing other than fear which has said its prayers.”

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