Have You Ever Been Afraid?

by | Aug 13, 2021 | Reflections

I suspect every one of us can admit to having been afraid.

Sometimes our fear is rooted in clear and present dangers – flood waters are rising, an out-of-control car heading toward us, signs of a COVID infection, etc.

At other times we fear an unknown future. What is happening to our country and our world? We face levels of polarization few of us can relate to, even if there are historical examples of much worse. We face once unthinkable questions about our ability to sustain life as we know it.

At yet other times we simply ponder things in our hearts…questions. Questions such as is this the right thing for me to do now.

There is so much to ponder in our hearts. All through history people have faced various levels of fear about the future.

Mary, Did You Know

Permit me to focus for a moment on the things that “Mary pondered in her heart.” Only recently have I connected the Christmas classic “Mary Did You Know?” with the August feast of the Assumption.

In the classic “Mary did you know?” we sing

  • Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
  • And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God

Taking the song further… what did Mary know

  • she would have to run for her life to Egypt to escape the infanticide of a murderous ruler
  • her heart would be pierced,
  • she would panic when she thought you had lost Jesus in the crowd,
  • she would watch your son’s execution,
  • she would hold his lifeless body in her arms?

Mary did you know? Probably not!

But with her Assumption, we can be certain.  Mary now knows! …  and understands!

Mary Precedes Us in All Our Questions

Pope Francis says

  • Viewed in the light of these questions the feast of the Assumption holds great hope for us. Who among us does not have things that we can not make sense of? Among the lessons of this feast is that all the things we can not understand now will one day be clear to us. She teaches us to trust that one day we will all understand the things that we can not understand and even rail against. Blessed is she who believed


  • Mary is the model of virtue and of faith. Today, in contemplating her Assumption into Heaven, the final fulfillment of her earthly journey, we thank her because she always precedes us in the pilgrimage of life and faith. She is the first Disciple. And we ask her to keep us and support us; that we may have a strong, joyful and merciful faith; that she may help us to be saints, to meet with her, one day, in Heaven. Pope Francis
  • In another message, Pope Francis says it so well….
    • Dear brothers and sisters, to Mary Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate today in the glory of Heaven, I once again wish to entrust the anxieties and pain of the populations that in many parts of the world are suffering due to natural disasters, social tensions or conflicts.
    • May our Heavenly Mother obtain consolation and a future of serenity and concord for all! We ask her to keep us and support us; so that we may have a strong, joyous and merciful faith,” he said.
    • “May she help us to be holy, so that we might meet with her, one day, in Heaven.”

Assumption hope!

  • Do we see Mary’s Assumption as reason for hope in the midst of our fears?


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