Usually, we try to get rid of our fears. A healthy and happy life is a life free of all anxieties. Or, we must at least try to be good and strong enough to withstand different attacks. Otherwise existence loses its sense and we do not have enough strength and enthusiasm to deal with it.
But it is not always easy nor even possible to win fears. They are numerous and obsessive. Now they are part of our environment, whether we want it or not. The fight is slowly growing desperate. There is nothing we can do but run away. But where?
Thus, our backs against the wall, perhaps we do not realized that even in this situation not everything is lost. Our spirit is harder than walls. Borderline situations are rather an opportunity to go beyond the limits of our human condition. We know it from history.
We try to… master our fears and look at them in a different way. We try transform them into a tent, a secure dwelling. How? Simply by choosing and accepting what we know (even if it makes us feel uncomfortable) to avoid things we do not know, but which are potentially more dangerous.
By addressing our fears, we become everyday a little more resistant. Not everything is fine, but we can survive and function. Better than nothing. In the reality of the situation, tamed things reveal something positive. In a context of total anxiety, it can become an island of reduced, more acceptable anxiety.
But there is still God and his grace! And immense space with many holy texts intertwined with fears lived up to the bottom and transformed through tears and prayer. It is not a chance that St. Benedict wrote his Rule that true prayer is characterized by purity of the heart and compunction which makes you cry. The purity of the heart could not be interpreted as the perplexity squeezed by fear and vulnerability when confronting the world? Maybe, paradoxically, fear can protect us from contamination?
Cowering in the tent of our fear we are truly and fully inside ourselves, so deeply that no one can reach us. And the bottom of our heart is not the place where God himself waits for us, banished from the world, to stay with us?
Thus, our tent becomes a temple, a landscape – often wild and eerie – where we can see dawn on the horizon. Below there is a narrow path, some plants caress our feet, nearby whispers a brook. Beyond heavy things we do not want, opens a new world: the other side of our fears. It is enough not to despair and continue to believe; take a breath and go, descend – slowly and always more – till the end…