Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog # 113 Relating to God

Blog # 113 Relating to God It seems to me for some people the most common way they have for relating to God is through feelings of guilt. Guilt would seem to result in feelings of fear which in turn would seem to produce feelings of alienation rather than closeness to anyone to whom we relate, including God. Since we love goodness and rightfully fear what is evil it seems that to fear God almost amounts to declaring that God is evil rather than good, and this would seem to be an offence against God that would stand in the way of feelings of closeness to God. Yet we are instructed and encouraged by spiritual directors and the Scriptures themselves to cultivate " fear of the Lord" as a virtue. " Behold, the fear of the Lord is wisdom; and avoiding evil is understanding." (Job 28:28). "The fear of the Lord is a paradise of blessings.(Sir 40:28) ( Ps 18: 10; Prov 9:10; Sir 1:16; 27:3; 40: 26,27; Is 33:6 ; Acts 9:31; 2 Cor 5:11). It should be obvious the term fear of the Lord can have two different meanings. In one sense it would mean being afraid of God and this fear should never be ours. The type of fear of the Lord that is a virtue is more a fear of ourselves rather than of God. An example of his type of fear would be the fear a person might have of breaking a very valuable antique vase, a fear of losing a precious diamond ring, or the friendship of a close friend. Confidence reverence and awe are the words that come to mind when we reflect upon the virtue of fear of the Lord. "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all who dwell in the world revere him.(Ps 33: 8). My heart stands in awe of your word. (Ps 119: 161). "If God is for us who can be against ?" (Rom 8: 31-34). The more fear we have in our relationships with one another and with God the less room there is for love and the more love we have the less room there is for fear. Jesus regularly invited His companions not be afraid. His command that we love God above all with our whole heart mind and soul would seem to leave no room at all for fear to dwell if it means to be afraid of God.

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