Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pope Francis explains "fear of the Lord"

‘Fear of the Lord’ Isn’t About Being Afraid, Says Pope in Morning Homily
Christmas gives us examples of humility, and the joy that comes from it, Francis says at Casa Santa Marta

Advent Casa Santa Marta
© PHOTO.VA - Osservatore Romano
Those who are truly humble walk in “fear of the Lord,” Pope Francis said today, reflected that at Christmas we see many examples of this humility and smallness.
The Pope said this during his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, Vatican Radio reported.
He spoke of the reference in the first reading from the Book of Isaiah to the small shoot that “shall sprout from the stump of Jesse.”
“Then at Christmas, we see this smallness, this little thing: a baby, a stable, a mother, a father… little ones.  (They have) big hearts but the attitude of a child.  And the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to rest on this shoot and this small shoot will have the virtue of the childlike and the fear of the Lord.  He will walk in the fear of the Lord. Fear of the Lord is not terror: no, it is putting into practice God’s commandment that he gave to our father Abram: ‘Live in my presence, be perfect.’ Humble – this is humility, fear of the Lord is humility.”
It is the childlike who know how to be humble and live fear of the Lord, the Pope said.
“Living our humility, Christian humility, means having this fear of the Lord which, I repeat, is not terror but is: ‘You are God, I am a person, I journey forward in this way with the little things of life but walking in Your presence and trying to be perfect.’ Humility is the virtue of the childlike and this is true humility and not a rather theatrical humility: no, not that: the humility of somebody who said: ‘I am humble but proud of being so.’ No, that is not true humility. The humility of the childlike is that of somebody who walks in the presence of the Lord, does not speak badly about others, looks only at serving and feels that he or she is the smallest …. That is where their strength lies.”
The Holy Father praised Mary’s humility, as a girl who receives the gift of God’s son and then goes immediately to serve her cousin, saying nothing about what has happened.
Humility is like this, he said, journeying in the presence of the Lord, happy, joyful because they are humble, just as we see in today’s gospel reading.
“Looking at Jesus who rejoiced because God reveals his mystery to the humble, we can ask for the grace of humility for all of us, the grace of fear of God, of walking in his presence trying to be perfect. And in this way with this humility, we can be vigilant in prayer, carrying out works of brotherly charity and rejoicing and giving praise.”

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