PARADOXICAL

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

 

Love and fear


(The ff. is my reaction to someone who told me this after I told him that it's okay to fear and love God at the same time: "A man who fears the occurrence of death and his destination in the hereafter, in my estimation, isn't served well by his religion.")


God's love and love of God indeed erases all fear. But fear has its good side, too. For the unrepentant and the willfully blind, fear is as effective and efficacious as love. Fear, in their case, may well be God's way of loving.

(For the record, I fear my Italian priest-confessor more than I fear God.)

Think about the effect of a doomsday message to the decades-long apostate suddenly going back to mother church's embrace. The thing is, God will most probably do anything, apply any approach, if only to save just one soul and turn the rebel into a potential prodigal son. Why don't you try to read the Book of Revelation to see the point a little more clearly?

What's wrong with fear anyway? "If we have to fear something or someone, fear nothing and no one but God," for indeed, only God has the power to condemn souls. Fear, taken in this context, is nothing but an expression of reverence for God, which in turn is another expression of love.

Fear of things and entities other than God... Now there's the kind of fear that doesn't affirm us and doesn't affirm life. And that fear has a name. Two names, in fact. Superstition and cowardice.

The thing is, fear of God is not one of cowardice but of reverence, something that's only proper and fitting for a deity, even if that deity is one given to giving love that's unconditional.


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