should have appropriate fear. For example, we should have
fear of the Lord.
Fear of the Lord is
a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is praised repeatedly in Holy Scripture...
fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it."
fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; wisdom and instruction fools
despise." (Prov. 1:7)
beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD, and knowledge of the Holy One is
understanding." (Prov. 9:10)
fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked are brief." (Prov.
fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that a man may avoid the snares of
death." (Prov. 14:27)
reward of humility and fear of the LORD is riches, honor and life." (Prov. 22:4)
root of wisdom is fear of the LORD; her branches are length of days." (Sirach
"Unless you earnestly hold fast to the fear of the LORD, suddenly your house
will be thrown down." (Sirach 27:3)
tells us to "fear God" (see 1 Pt. 2:17) and St. Paul instructs us to...
"...work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12)
As for other
types of fear, these should be kept within reason since...
has a person to fear who lives in the arms and bosom of God?" (St. Paul of the
"For I have learnt for a fact that nothing so effectively obtains, retains and
regains grace, as that we should always be found not high-minded before God, but
filled with holy fear." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)
"The spirit of independence and of false liberty, which is nowadays so rife
amongst us, is a great enemy to the fear of God; and one of the miseries of our
age, is that there is little fear of God. Familiarity with God but too
frequently usurps the place of that essential basis of the Christian life. The
result is, that there is no progress in virtue, such people are a prey to
illusion; and the sacraments, which previously worked so powerfully in their
souls, are now well-nigh unproductive. The reason is, that the gift of fear has
been superceded by a conceited self-complacency. Humility has no further sway; a
secret and habitual pride has paralyzed the soul; and seeing that these people
scout the very idea of their ever trembling before the great God of heaven, we
may well ask them if they know who God is." (Dom Gueranger)
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