Fear of God.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Psalm 111:10

Praise the Lord. Happy is he who fears the Lord, who finds deep delight in obeying his commandments. His descendants will be powerful in the land, a blessed generation of upright people. Psalm 112:1-2

(...) because You have crushed my pride with Your fear and tamed my neck to Your yoke. And now I bear it and it is light to me, (...) St. Augustine, X.36

We are speaking here of that fear which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. (...) It is filial fear, not servile fear. (...) Christ wants us to have fear of all that is an offense against God. John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, P.226.

In order to set contemporary man free from fear of himself, of the world, of others, of earthly powers, of oppressive systems, in order to set him free from every manifestation of a servile fear before that "prevailing force", which believers call God, it is necessary to pray fervently that he will bear and cultivate in his heart that true fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom. John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, P.228.

One, who does not fear the Holy Master, cannot escape evil. After a little advancement, vanity leads us to degradation because we do not harbour fear of the Lord. The only way to save yourself is to remember that the Lord is Omnipresent so that His fear always abides in our mind. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1673.

The great majesty of God which pervaded me today and still pervades me, awoke in me a great fear, but fear filled with respect, and not the fear of a slave, which is quite different from the fear of respect. This fear animated by respect arose in my heart today because of love and the knowledge of the greatness of God, and this is a great joy to the soul. The soul trembles before the smallest offense against God; but that does not trouble or darken its happiness. There, where love is in charge, all is well. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 732.

Fearing the Lord and being in awe of Him implies a true understanding of His greatness and man's insignificance. Out of this fear and awe come love. Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.233.

It is very hard to allow emptiness to exist in our lives.  Emptiness requires a willingness to exist in our lives.  Emptiness requires a willingness not to be in control, a willingness to let something new and unexpected to happen.  It requires trust, surrender, and openness to guidance.  God wants to dwell in our emptiness.  But as long as we are afraid of God and God's actions in our lives, it is unlikely that we will offer our emptiness to God.  Let's pray that we can let go of our fear of God and embrace God as the source of all love. Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey. P. Feb. 28.

I've set my shelter
    with you in my awe and fear
        and in despair
established your name as a fortress;
    I looked to the right
and left and no one was near-
        and into your hands
I committed my loneness ...

The Hour of Song by Gabirol (11th Century). Quoted after: Cole, Peter (Trans.) (2001). Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press. P.117.

The saints' "absorption" is such that God causes them to fear Him with a fear different from the fear humans have of lions, tigers, and tyrants. He reveals to them that fear is from God, security is from God, pleasure and ease are from God, and the necessities of day-to-day life are from God. (...) (The saint) knows for certain that fear is from God, security is from God, and all serenity and beautiful things are from God. Now, although the saint's fear does not resemble ordinary fear, it can be glimpsed through ordinary fear. (...) Rumi, Fihi ma Fihi, #11, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.132.

Perhaps I ma stronger than I think. (...) Perhaps I am most afraid of the strength of God in me. Perhaps I would rather be guilty and weak in myself, than strong in Him whom I cannot understand. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.146.

A brother asked one of the elders: How does fear of the Lord get into a man? And the elder said: If a man have humility and poverty, and judge not another, that is how fear of the Lord gets into him. Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert, P.27.

Abbot Pastor said: A man must breathe humility and the fear of God just as ceaselessly as he inhales and exhales the air. Thomas Merton. The Wisdom of the Desert, P.53.

Let us stand firm in the fear of God, rigorously practicing the virtues and not giving our conscience cause to stumble. In the fear of God let us keep our attention fixed within ourselves, until our conscience achieves its freedom. Then there will be a union between it and us, and thereafter it will be our guardian, showing us each thing that we must uproot. (...) St. Isaiah the Solitary (died in Gaza in 491 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.22.

If God sees that the intellect has entirely submitted to Him and puts its hope in Him alone, he strengthens is, saying: 'Have no fear Jacob my son, my little Israel' (Isa 41:14. LXX), and: 'Have no fear: for I have delivered you, I have called you by My name; you are mine. If you pass through water, I shall be with you, and the rivers will not drown you. If you go through fire, you will not be burnt, and the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, who saves you' (cf. Isa 43:1-3. LXX). St. Isaiah the Solitary (died in Gaza in 491 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.23.

When you stand in prayer before God the Almighty, who created all things and takes thought for all, why are you so foolish as to forget the fear of God and to be scared of mosquitoes and cockroaches? (...) St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.67.

He who with fear of God admonishes or corrects a man who has sinned, gains the virtue that is opposite to that sin. But he who reproaches him our of rancor and ill will becomes subject to a similar passion, according to the spiritual law. St. Mark the Ascetic (4th Century C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.141.

See the related subjects: Courage, Discipline, God's Love for Human Beings, God's Will, Humbleness, Justice, Mercy, Omnipotence, Penance, Righteousness, Wisdom.

Last updated: 2007/01/14