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Saturday, November 15, 2014



Reverential Awe??? It falls way short of Fear of the Lord. Many good Catholics always water it down - Sister Ann Shields for one. Fear of the Lord is the most ignored gift, and I think it is because we have a modernist notion of fear. To fear out of love means simply that we are concerned of offending God, who is Love and Truth, and this offense can lead to separation. We love God and fear his just punishment. It is less noble to fear God and seek his love to assuage this fear. This same rule applies in confession.
The same word for fear is applied throughout the New Testament - phobos. Scripture does not use the word awe or reverence, which it very well could have. The German word for respect is built from the words honor and fear - it is much closer.
Ponder this - the Virgin Mary was afraid when the Angel appeared. Why? She is our perfect model. Was it reverential awe or concern of having offended or done something wrong? Let's remember what the Angel told her - "Do not be afraid." Gabriel was not saying to not be reverential. Jesus said to his apostles - "Do not be afraid." Let's stop with the reverence analogy. It means a holy, filial fear. And they are told to not be afraid because God is not coming to judge. In the end, when our sojourn is done, God will cast out all fear.

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