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Gift of Fear of the Lord

St. Dominic Savio was a student of St. John Bosco and similarly adopted an attitude of joy.

How does fear of the Lord = Joy? The saints lived joyfully because they knew of the Father’s love for them as an adopted son or daughter. They show us how we are called to live—with joy and a sense of humor. I recommend reading this article highlighting a few saints that will bring joy to your home, READ IT HERE.

The Holy Spirit’s Gift of Fear of the Lord can best be understood by starting with our relationship with the Father. The grace of Baptism restores our relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and we become adopted sons and daughters of the Father. The theological virtue of hope and cardinal virtue of temperance are among the gifts freely given to us. Hope enables one to desire God above all things and to trust Him for personal salvation. It is the virtue of a pilgrim, of one following Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)—to the Father’s house (John 14:2).

The virtue of temperance enables us to moderate our desires for worldly pleasure and directs our attention to our treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20). Both virtues are perfected by the gift of Fear of the Lord which permeates them with filial love and filial fear. To put it simply, the Christian lives with a childlike trust, love, and confidence seeking to avoid anything that might separate them from their heavenly Father. It is no longer a fear of punishment but a fear of offending Him and rejecting the relationship which was restored by Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. The Gift of Fear of the Lord stirs in our hearts the realization that, yes, “God first loved me” (1 John 4:19) and my destiny is to dwell in the household of God forever (Psalm 23:1).

The effects of the Gift of Fear of the Lord, as it perfects hope:

  • Awakens the horror and sorrow for sin because it is a
    loss of friendship with God
  • Gives a firm resolve to do the Father’s will
  • Instills reverence, awe, and humility
  • Gives vigilance in avoiding sin and occasions of sin

As it perfects temperance:

  • Sees God as a loving Father; puts His love at the center of one’s life
  • Regulates one’s desires from within
  • Horror and sorrow for sin because it is a loss of friendship with God
  • Gives vigilance in avoiding sin and occasions of sin

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