Even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
There is an anxiety that stems from not naming our fears. That comes when we don’t stop and ask ourselves why we suddenly feel so tired or why strangely the space that our heart occupies seems to have become tighter.
When this happens to me, I realize it is my body telling me it is time to stop and ask myself what it is I am afraid of. It is my own body telling me to go to the chapel and face my fears with Jesus!
It may seem surprising, but a shepherd counts his sheep several times a day, knows them all by name, and more, is able to identify each of the sheep in the dark by touch, so deeply he knows them. Our fears can disfigure our image of ourselves. That is why it is important to stop to face them, not as a nameless amalgamation of problems, but identifying each of the things that concern us. Only then can we surrender our fears one by one to Jesus.
Lord, help me remember that nothing we fear is unknown to Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd; he knows our name and is able to recognize us even in the middle of our darkness. Help me give Jesus my fears, one by one, and therefore liberate a space within me that is free to trust, a space that belongs to Jesus and where I can hear him say once again: “I give my life for my sheep.” Amen.
A reflective pause
- Find a quiet place where you can pray, and take a cross with you
- Breathe deeply
- Bring to mind all that worries you right now.
- Take a few moments to look at the cross and fix your gaze on the open arms of Jesus, who embraces all of humanity from the cross.
- Welcome the embrace of Jesus who knows you by name.
- One by one, tell Jesus all your fears.
- Remain a few moments in interior silence and let Jesus open a space in you to trust.
- With a free heart pray Psalm 23.
- End with a word of gratitude to God.
To tuck in with you tonight
I trust, Lord, that even in the dark you know me.
by Sr Helena Marta Infante Gaspar, FSP