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FEARING FEAR

Fr Jim Cogley


A phrase that is often quoted in relation to fear is ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’. These words were part of an address to the American nation by Franklin Roosevelt at the time of the great depression. This was one of the nation's darkest periods when unemployment was at an all time high, savings were wiped out by bank failures and people were going hungry. Fear stalked the land and held the inhabitants in its grip. Roosevelt named Fear as ‘that nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.’

As a younger man he had to face his own fears, having been paralyzed by polio that left him with an extreme fear of fire, and not being able to escape because of his disability. Later he walked with the aid of braces and entered the political arena. He rose to become one of the US greatest presidents who guided the nation to victory in World War 11. He always attributed his victory over fear to having turned to God in his time of greatest need for courage and guidance and his prayer having been answered.

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