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For Pope John Paul II

Today, April 1, 2005, as I watch the news on our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, one phrase has caught me like no other. "Be not afraid." Many times various people have quoted Pope John Paul and “Be not afraid” has been recited time and time again.

As our Holy Father’s health declines and we wait anxiously for the next official statement from the Vatican… as we pray… the phrase "be not afraid" permeates through my mind. It also happens to be the title of one of my favorite hymns.

"Be not afraid. I go before you always.
Come follow me, and I will give you rest."

Refrain from Be Not Afraid
Copyright 1975, Robert J. Dufford, SJ and New Dawan Music. Published by OCP Publications.


Be not afraid. That very phrase appears in the Bible over 300 times. I used to know exactly how many times (learned it at a Parish Mission given by Fr. Edward Beck that I attended years ago, but I can’t remember at the moment the exact number).

Be not afraid. God is with us. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, died for our sins so that we might have eternally life.

Be not afraid. God is with us. At the hour of our (earthly) death, He is with us.

Be not afraid. We are not alone. We are blessed with great faith and the promise of life eternal. The promise of life with our Lord for eternity.

Be not afraid. As Catholics and non-Catholics unite today in prayer for Pope John Paul II, we come together in unity – as a people of faith. Even though we have differing views, we unite in a time of need.

Be not afraid. While our Holy Father draws closer to his possible death and we wonder about his successor and the future, we must have faith that our Lord will continue to guide His Church. When the time comes, that the Lord will give those making that very important decision the wisdom to choose the right person to continue leading His Church.


Prayer for our Holy Father
Dear Lord,
Please keep our beloved Pope John Paul II, your obedient son, in your loving care. As his health deteriorates, be with him. Give him the grace and comfort he needs and let your will be done. We are grateful for the gift of such a wonderful man to lead your church for so many years. Be with your holy servant at this hour of his need. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Peace in Christ,
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman

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