Have No Fear

“Have No Fear”

This week's reflection is written by
V. Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, OSFS, Provincial.

Thank God!

All 12 young soccer players and their coach have been rescued from a dark and flooded cave in Thailand. What those boys and their parents experienced is truly incredible. Young boys, huddled together, hungry, tired, and scared. Parents, desperate to hold their children, anxiety-ridden, and unable to act. Learning that a seasoned diver died while preparing for the rescue must have filled both the parents and the boys with more pain and desperation.

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I imagine what it was like inside that cave. Adolescent boys wondering how they could escape, knowing that they couldn’t swim or were too weak to try. They were no doubt trying to be brave before their buddies, but I bet every one of them was crying inside for the reassuring comfort of their parents. And who can blame them for this? How often does a child hear these soothing words from his mother, “Everything will be all right!” No doubt, those brave lads wanted so very much to hear those very words during their 16-day ordeal.

Each day that passed when that team was trapped in that cave, every heart on the planet was breaking a bit in the face of this very human tragedy. Across the world, though often at odds with one another, people were united in their shared prayers for this soccer team and their young coach. On a personal level, every parent who knew of this tragedy has looked at their children in a new and protective way, imagining the unspeakable fear and dread the parents of those boys felt. Everywhere, prayers were offered.

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Every Monday, the Province sends a newsletter to our Oblate community, we list the names of those in need of our prayers. Some of these people are well known by the Oblates and others may be just names on a page. Yet, each one of them has a story, maybe not as dramatic as the one above, but just as real for them.

I want our readers to know that every Oblate brother, priest, and staff member who reads those names offers prayers. This week we prayed for Petty Officer Saman Gunan, the lost diver, for we also include the names of those who have gone on to the Lord. We take them to prayer as well for they are making their way to the Lord and when there, they will remember us with grateful hearts.

We offer prayers and when we encounter those in need we often share the words of St. Francis de Sales, these same words are the ones I would have told those young boys trapped in the cave and those parents waiting at home, “Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring, the same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. God will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.  Amen.”