Thursday, March 10, 2016

Adorned with the Fear of God

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lᴏʀᴅ,
    who walks in his ways!  (Ps 128:1)

His words, blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, reveal that those who with troubled mind are apprehensive of the world's dangers in loss of temporal possessions are not blessed.  These dangers make people wretched, torturing them with empty fear, so that they do not experience growth but a diminution, no ascent but a headlong fall.  By contrast, fear of the Lord is the offspring of love, is born of charity, is sprung from sweetness.  What devoted fear, consoling the fearful, refreshing the afflicted, experiencing no absence of joy unless the benefit of such fear is laid aside!  Scripture says of this fear: “Come, children, hearken to me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”  How advantageous the fear is by which children are instructed, how splendid the training bestowed with sweet affection!


The inspired word declared blessed not the one from Abraham's stock or from Israel's seed but the person adorned with the fear of God.  Blessed Peter also says this in the book of Acts: “In truth I grasp the fact that God shows no partiality, but in every nation the person fearing him and performing righteousness is acceptable to him.” [Ac 10:34-35]  The inspired word also gave a glimpse of the character of the fear of God, adding those walking in his ways: “Not everyone saying to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in heaven.” [Mt 7:21]  So it is typical of those fearing the Lord not to stray from the ways of God but to travel in them without fail.

Theodoret of Cyrus

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