The Holy Father said the scriptures invite us to reflect on the difference between human fears and the fear of God. Fear, he said, is a natural dimension of human life. While we overcome the imaginary fears of childhood, others emerge that are founded in reality.
These fears “must be faced and overcome with human commitment and trust in God.”
He said the Scriptures speak clearly of a different kind of fear: the fear of God that is the beginning of true wisdom. "The fear of God defined by the Scriptures as the beginning of true wisdom coincides with faith in God, with respect for His authority over life and the world. To be without this ‘fear of God’ is equivalent to putting ourselves in God’s place, to feel ourselves to be a masters over good and evil, life and death.”
The Holy Father continued, “Those who fear Him have the security of a child in the arms of his mother. Whoever fears God is at peace even in the midst of storms, because God, as Jesus has revealed, is a Father full of mercy and goodness. Whoever loves Him is not afraid: as the Apostle John wrote, ‘In love there is no fear.’ On the contrary, perfect love casts out all fear, because fear assumes punishment, and those who fear do not have perfect love.”
He said that those who believe need not fear anything, since all things are in the hands of God, who does not allow evil and what is irrational to have to the last word. The only Lord of the world and of life is Christ, the Incarnate Word of God who loved us even unto sacrificing himself, and dying on the cross for our salvation.
The Holy Father said the more we grow in this intimacy with God, steeped in love, the more easily we conquer every form of fear. Jesus exhorts us not to be afraid.
“We are reassured just as He reassured the Apostles, as he did with St. Paul in appearing to them in a night vision during a particularly difficult time. ‘Do not be afraid, because I am with you.’ Confident in the presence of Christ and comforted by his love, the Apostle to the Gentiles did not even fear martyrdom.”
From: Sunday's Angelus
Pope Benedict's address at Nen Deu
Vatican City, Jun 22, 2008
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