“Let us stand, therefore, with fear of God and keep guard over our heart, practicing the virtues which check the wickedness of our enemies.”
St Isaiah the Solitary
On Guarding the Intellect
Philokalia Volume 1
Fear is the one emotion that can cause us to recede from the world into ourselves and into what is comfortable. We fear many things: heights, spiders, death, people that are different, change, and the list goes on. In scripture, God tells us to fear not around 360ish times and yet it is the one emotion that we cannot seem to shake. The contemplative tradition talks a great deal about fear of God. However, this is not the scary kind of fear, but rather an acknowledgement of the majesty, grace, and love of the creator. When we can train our hearts and our minds to see God at work in the world around us we begin to be free from the worldly fear that binds us. When we fear God, we have the freedom to go out and serve the world because we realize that we are far from alone. This week let’s contemplate on the things that we fear. What fears prevent us from being present with our neighbors and those we meet? What fears keep us from having full relationships?