Podcast

55: What does it mean to fear the Lord?



If faith casts out fear and fear is the beginning of wisdom, does that mean faith casts out the beginning of wisdom?

We’ll talk about three types of fear: servile, filial, and reverential.

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Tom Dickson, Jack Buss, Sean McNicholl, Jed Florstat, Daniel Szafran, Phillip Hadden

Katie Kuchar, Phillipe Ortiz, Russell T Potee, Sarah Jacob, Fernando Enrile

Fear is a movement of the appetitive power, as stated above (I-II:41:1). Now the principle of all appetitive movements is the good or evil apprehended: and consequently the principle of fear and of every appetitive movement must be an apprehension. Again, through faith there arises in us an apprehension of certain penal evils, which are inflicted in accordance with the Divine judgment. On this way, then, faith is a cause of the fear whereby one dreads to be punished by God; and this is servile fear.

It is also the cause of filial fear, whereby one dreads to be separated from God, or whereby one shrinks from equalling oneself to Him, and holds Him in reverence, inasmuch as faith makes us appreciate God as an unfathomable and supreme good, separation from which is the greatest evil, and to which it is wicked to wish to be equalled. Of the first fear, viz. servile fear, lifeless faith is the cause, while living faith is the cause of the second, viz. filial fear, because it makes man adhere to God and to be subject to Him by charity.

ST II-II, Q. 7, A. 1.

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