My Worst Fear

Recently, a friend and I were talking about our greatest fears. Among all the truly terrible things in this fallen world, from terrorism to child abuse, from torture to betrayal, from murder to rape, from among all these things and everything between, I am most afraid of this:

I fear becoming evil.

I fear becoming a terrorist, I fear being an abuser, a torturer, a betrayer, a murderer, a rapist. I fear becoming evil more than I fear being terrorized, abused, tortured, betrayed, murdered, raped.

The only thing worse than being a victim is being a victimizer.Murderer

Because I never want to hurt the people I love. I never want to take away someone’s beloved. And I never want to forfeit my soul, forfeit my God and the New Heaven and New Earth He will make for you and for me when He returns.

If I am a victim, the Lord can heal me (as he has before). If you are a victim, the Lord can heal you, too (just ask Him, let Him). Some of the most abused victims in Church history (e.g., St. Maria Goretti, St. Joan of Arc, St. Jean de Brébeuf, and even the Lord Jesus Himself) even went on to become beloved, beautified and beatified in God’s grace!

But if I am the evildoer… if I choose to be malicious and to remain in evil, if I refuse to repent and persist in perversions, then I am lost. I lost myself and hid myself from Heaven. Then I become evil: forgotten, forsaken, forever.

And the more evil I do, the more evil I remain. Until it is almost impossible to turn around… because I might even forget and even doubt I can turn back to God. He forgives all who repent (see Luke 15:11-32), but what if I do not let Him love me? What if I become so prideful that I believe my sins are greater than His mercy?

It could happen. I can be that stupid. And I am that free to choose.

And that is why becoming evil is my worst fear, and it should be yours also.

Please pray our worst fear remains merely a possibility.

But if it has become a reality, let us pray we turn back to the King so He can make us new.

Saint Cecilia

The Sculpture of St. Cecilia by Stefano Maderno

The Sculpture of St. Cecilia by Stefano Maderno in Trastevere, Rome.

Young lady, who are you?
Your beloveds called you Cecilia,
Yet your Beloved called you more.

Where is your face?
Why are you on the floor?
Who left the scars upon your neck,
And do the marks endure?

Your flesh was found,
And they called it incorrupt.
Your body was cast down,
Yet it would not be cut up.

You live now in True Life.
You gaze now upon the True Face.
Your fingers grasp the Divine,
And your death shows us True Faith.

Pray for me who fears,
Pray my love is like yours,
Pray Cecilia, that I am called more.

© 2013 Evan Pham: in memory of the Martyrdom of St. Cecilia today.