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Certain quotations are
highlighted within P

Musings 2005/195

Fear of The Lord

One of the seven gifts of The Holy Spirit is fear of The Lord.
P Love is a good and pleasant law; it is not only easy to bear, but it makes the laws of slaves and hirelings tolerable; not destroying but completing them; as the Lord saith: 'I am not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil' (Matt. 5.17). It tempers the fear of the slave, it regulates the desires of the hireling, it mitigates the severity of each.

Love is never without fear,
but it is godly fear.

Love is never without desire, but it is lawful desire. So love perfects the law of service by infusing devotion; it perfects the law of wages by restraining covetousness.

Devotion mixed with fear
does not destroy it,
but purges it.

Then the burden of fear which was intolerable while it was only servile, becomes tolerable;

and the fear itself remains
ever pure and filial.

For though we read:

'Perfect love casteth out fear' (I John 4.18),

we understand by that the suffering which is never absent from servile fear, the cause being put for the effect, as often elsewhere. So, too, self-interest is restrained within due bounds when love supervenes; for then it rejects evil things altogether, prefers better things to those merely good, and cares for the good only on account of the better. In like manner,

by God's grace,
it will come about that man will love his body
and all things pertaining to his body,
for the sake of his soul.
He will love his soul
for God's sake;
and he will love God for Himself alone. P

(ON LOVING GOD by St. Bernard of Clairvaux - Chapter XIV)
Well, having found the quotation set out above, I find I have little left to say, for the point I wanted to make is perfectly clear in this wonderful Saint's writing.
So, that cuts a long story short!!!
However, I did want to mention the great fear that Jesus experienced at Gethsemane.
Such a fear as to cause blood to seep through the pores of His skin!
Yet there is nothing surer then that Jesus contained within Himself perfect Love. We observe that,

in spite of this perfect Love,
His fear was such
as to be beyond compare

for I have never heard of anyone else having a fear which brought forth blood through the skin!
It seems to me then, that the
fear of God is not a temporary Gift of The Spirit for us as we journey through life, but that it is a perfect, supreme Gift; a most suitable Gift for every creature,

a Gift that will last forever.

How great is the Will of God?
It is so great that The Creator deemed it something He must do, that He should bring forth creatures with power to recognise, acknowledge and appreciate and to make decisions accordinfly!!
This is so astonishingly awesome to us creatures that we can not express this awesomeness better then by deeming it
fear of The Lord.
It seems to me that,
even in Heaven, we will continue to experience the fear of The Lord as we contemplate the fullness of God's Goodness, Truth and Love!
That we should share the very Virtues of God!
That we should share The Godhead!
Perhaps this permanent
fear of The Lord is not a fear of pain or of some loss. Perhaps it is a fear that resembles awe, wonder and astonishment at the Majesty, Power and Perfection that is God. Perhaps it is

the total amazement
that God should provide us creatures
with the ability
to have
fear of God!

I have always felt uneasy about those who say that there is no fear when you have love.
It seems fairly certain to me that the great Saints who experienced great Love also experienced great agonies!
Yes, they went forth accompanied by these agonies with great courage, but I am sure that they, like Jesus Christ Himself, felt great fear of what befell them.
They sallied forth in spite of their great fear!
Then there is the fear of hell.
According to our brilliant Penny Catechism the fear of hell can gain eternal life for us.

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