The Fear of God

December 30, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 430
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Section III.

The Fear of God.

After love comes fear, which in fact springs from love. For the greater our love for another, the greater is our fear not only of losing him but of offending him.

See how carefully a good son avoids anything that could displease his father, or a loving wife all that could displease her husband.

This fear is the guardian of innocence, and for this reason we should deeply engrave it in our souls, praying with David that the Lord may pierce our flesh with His holy fear.[Ps. cxviii. 120.]

This pious monarch desired that even his flesh should be penetrated with this salutary fear, that, piercing his heart like a thorn, it might unceasingly warn him against all that could lead him to offend God, the object of his love and fear.

It was for this reason that the inspired author wrote: “The fear of the Lord driveth out sin.” [Ecclus. i. 27.]

The effect of this fear is not only to make us avoid actions that are positively sinful, but even those that may lead us into evil or endanger our virtue.

These words of Job: “I feared all my works, knowing that Thou didst not spare the offender,” [Job ix. 28.] testify how deeply this sentiment was imprinted in his soul.

If we are penetrated with this salutary fear it will be manifest in our bearing when we enter God’s house, and particularly in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. We shall beware of irreverently talking or gazing about us as if we were unconscious of the dread Majesty in whose temple we are.

The love of God, as we have already said, is the first source of this fear. Servile fear, however, which is the fear, not of a son, but of a slave, is, in a measure, profitable, for it introduces filial fear as the needle introduces the thread.

But we shall strengthen and confirm this sentiment of holy fear by reflecting upon the incomprehensible majesty of God, the severity of His judgments, the rigor of His justice, the multitude of our sins, and particularly our resistance to divine inspirations.

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