Get help when you need it, without fear and without shame.
All of us at some time in our life need some help. Many of us avoid seeking that help for a multitude of reasons that include pride, fear and embarrassment. Growing up in America, I was taught that one can do just about anything with the right amount of desire and determination. Rugged individualism was ingrained into my way of thinking. Being a Christian, however, is not something one can do alone. The author of these maxims, Fr. Thomas Hopko, frequently states that the only thing one can do alone is to perish.
God is not the author of fear, nor is He the author of shame. God is actively seeking to save us every minute of every day. The words of the fourth Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman Missal beautifully presents this truth saying,
….when through disobedience he (humanity) had lost your friendship, you did not abandon him to the domain of death. For you came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find you. Time and again you offered covenants and through the prophets taught them to look forward to salvation.
Very often in my life I have forgotten that I am not alone on this journey. There have been times when the fear of what others might think of me has kept me from seeking help that I desperately needed. Other times shame or embarrassment did the same. I am sure that the demons rejoice when they watch a soul being broken and defeated and alone. The demons know that by ourselves we are much more vulnerable to their attacks than when we are gathered together in friendship. The book of Ecclesiastes puts it this way,
Two are better than one, because they have good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10)
My hope is that in my own life courage will always find away to win the battle with fear and when I need help, I will seek and find it.