repentance or fear?
"You did not receive a spirit of slavery leading you back into fear, but a spirit of adoption through which we cry out 'Abba!' (that is, 'Father')." —Romans 8:15
Because we inherited a fallen nature, we were in fear from the first moment of our conception. We lived in fear (see Lk 12:32) no matter how hard we tried to be free. We would have lived in fear our whole lives (Heb 2:15), but we were set free when we received a new nature by being baptized into Jesus.
When we live our Baptism as adopted children of God, we push fear out of our lives (1 Jn 4:18). However, when we sin and are thereby unfaithful to our baptismal promises, we replace a spirit of adoption with a spirit of slavery, which leads us back into fear (Rm 8:15). In summary, freedom from fear is based on living as adopted children of God, that is, on living our Baptism. Freedom from fear is based on repentance.
People either repent or become lifelong slaves of the fear of death (Heb 2:15). Sometimes people say they are afraid to go to Confession. On the contrary, they will be trapped in fear forever if they do not repent and confess their sins. Therefore, repent, go to Confession, and "do not be afraid of anything" (Mt 10:31).
Prayer: Father, may I go to Confession frequently, even monthly, as You lead me.
Promise: "There was a woman there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit which drained her strength. She was badly stooped — quite incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said, 'Woman, you are free of your infirmity.' He laid His hand on her, and immediately she stood up straight and began thanking God." —Lk 13:11-13
Praise: St. Anthony had multiple attempts on his life and suffered great humiliation for the sake of the propagation of truth.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Secret of Confession on our tape on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)
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