Monday, September 14, 2009

The Fear of the Lord

The wonderful Blog called, "Under the Dome" has a terrific post today about the fear of God, about what that phrase means and doesn't mean. It means two quite distinct things, as explained in this quote from St. Maximos:

“Fear of God is of two kinds. The first is generated in us by the threat of punishment. It is through such fear that we develop in due order self-control, patience, hope in God and dispassion; and it is from dispassion that love comes. The second kind of fear is linked with love and constantly produces reverence in the soul, so that it does not grow indifferent to God because of the intimate communion of its love. “The first kind of fear is expelled by perfect love when the soul has acquired this and is no longer afraid of punishment (cf I John 4:18). The second kind, as we have alrady said, is always found united with perfect love. The first kind of fear is referred to in the following tow verses: “Out of fear of the Lord men shun evil” (Prov. 16:6), and “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:10). The second kind is mentioned in the following verses: “Fear of the Lord is pure, and endures forever” (Ps. 19:9 LXX), and “Those who fear the Lord will not want for anything” (Ps. 34:10 LXX). ” St. Maximus the Confessor.

I hope this whets your appetite to go and read the entire post.