“You want to do something for the Lord…do it. Whatever you feel needs to be done, even though you’re shaking in your boots, you’re scared to death — take the first step forward. The grace comes with that one step and you get the grace as you step. Being afraid is not a problem; it’s doing nothing when you feel afraid.” — Mother Angelica
Years ago, my spiritual life had stalled. The evangelical church I attended had invited a charismatic potential seminarian to co-pastor and that young man, very zealous and rather fundamentalist, had infiltrated the leadership of this church and split it down the middle. I began this dark phase in my faith walk with my church friends split into two groups; which ever group I chose the other group would never speak to me again. I felt rejected, alone, lonely, and disturbed.
Mother Angelica’s show ran after midnight. I know this because I would be sitting up, unable to sleep, and flip channels. She made sense. She spoke with her Bible open on her lap. She was in a personal relationship with Jesus. She had zeal. I loved her willful holiness.
Jennifer Fulwiler lists what she learned from Mother Angelica about radical faith. I call radical faith, willful holiness. Either way, Mother Angelica is an example of that depth of belief and trust in God.
Applied to my writing, if I am following Mother Angelica’s example (for the list see the article) I would:
1. Avoid false humility which is nothing more than a cowardly excuse for procrastination.
2. Write something. The grace of God will flow as I step out and DO something. Writing is the action I am supposed to do every day.
3. Ignore non-supportive people.
4. Don’t over think what I am writing. Edit later. If I try to be clever it will bomb, just write.
5. Passivity is not trusting God, it is the vice of procrastination. Seek fortitude and perseverance instead.
6. Write that which is breathing the essence of my principles. For example, porn sells, but it violates one’s principles (I hope!).
7. Just write, accept that there will be flaws in my work because there are flaws in me. I need to see this truth and just write. Stop worrying that I lack some special prerequisite. I accept my imperfections and know that the writing will be edited!
8. “Embrace Your Fears” wrote Jennifer Fulwiler of Mother Angelica (the quote is at the top of this page). For me, this is essential because I am so terrified of failure, of never being good enough to put the book in print, that it can choke me into sitting terrified and immobile at the computer. I sit here anyway, wrestling with those fears, because I must write. The immobility is a problem.
Dear Lord, Thank You for Mother Angelica and Jennifer Fulwiler. Please bless both of them. Bless each of us in our attempts to put these lessons into use. Please help me embrace my fears and take proper action. Amen.