Fear of God banishes fear of man, Pope notes
Vatican, Jun. 23, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Fear of God is completely unlike the “existential fear” of modern man, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) told his midday audience on Sunday, June 22.
The Holy Father observed that in the day’s Gospel, Jesus contrasts fear of God with fear of man. Those who fear God need never fear other men, he said.
The Pope spoke about the various types of fear that are common to all humans, beginning with the fears prompted by childish imagination and going on to the realistic fears of adult life. The latter, he said, “must be faced and overcome with human commitment and trust in God.”
However, modern life is scarred by another sort of fear “which sometimes spills over into anguish,” the Pope continued. “It is It is born of a sense of emptiness, associated with a certain culture that is permeated with widespread theoretical and practical nihilism.” That fear is the enemy of faith; it is conquered by the virtue of hope.
“Fear of God, which Scripture defines as 'the beginning of true hope,’ means to have faith in Him,” the Pope explained. "Those who fear God are serene even amidst the storms.”
Looking forward to the start of the Pauline Year on June 28, Pope Benedict concluded his remarks with the observation that St. Paul’s faith was strong enough so that he “did not even fear martyrdom.”
Ah! So that’s what’s wrong with our bishops! It all makes sense now.
They have NO FEAR OF GOD!