God Is The Lord

The fear of the Lord is honor, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of joy.  The fear of the Lord shall delight the heart, and shall give joy, and gladness, and length of days.  With him that feareth the Lord, it shall go well in the latter end, and in the day of his death he shall be blessed.  The love of God is honorable wisdom.  And they to whom she shall show herself love her by the sight, and by the knowledge of her great works. ~Sirach 1:11~15

My morning prayer and meditation today was focused on Fear of the Lord, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I began meditating and reflecting on this gift after reading what Fr.Alfred Delp had to say about it. The heart of what he had to say on this gift was this: "Much in our lives would be different if more people knew the easy, simple sentence~ and vividly understood~ that God is the Lord." I stayed with that sentence for awhile to let it really begin to seep into my thoughts and prayers. I will try to stay with this bit of wisdom throughout this day as well.
From there I went back into Scripture to the passage I quoted at the start of this post. It clearly states what real, biblical fear of the Lord is. It is a gift that brings hope and leads to love. It is not a slavish, cowering fear; it is not being afraid. It is knowing God's holiness and majesty and my nothingness. It is knowing that God is the Lord of all, that ultimately He is the Lord of my life and I am not.
I know from first hand experience what happens when I forget that God is the Lord. When I think that I can handle, on my own, even the smallest of situations in my life disaster and destruction are sure to follow. I have always been a very independent person. I would rather do things myself not asking for help when I need it. Part of my conversion, a very big part in fact, has been in receiving this gift of the Spirit. If I am to live in loving relationship with God, I have to recognize my need for Him and my dependence on Him in everything. I have to constantly be aware that He is Lord.
The world will tell us otherwise. It does not see this fear of God as a gift, but rather a prison. This world would have us believe that we are in charge and that we have no need of God. The world does not see or believe that God is the Lord.
The saints too had much to say on this gift of the Holy Spirit. St Bernard of Clairvaux speaks of it from the standpoint of Wisdom. He explains in the following quote that we do not learn wisdom in a lecture hall, but in an encounter with the Lord which leads to this holy and biblical fear of the Lord. 
"For there we listen to Wisdom as a teacher in a lecture hall, delivering an all embracing discourse, here we receive it within us; there our minds are enlightened, here our wills are moved to decision. Instruction makes us learned, experience makes us wise...and so with God: to know Him is one thing, to fear Him is another, not does knowledge make a man wise but the fear that motivates him... How truly is fear of the Lord the beginning of Wisdom, because the soul begins to experience God for the first time when fear of Him takes hold of it, not when knowledge enlightens it...Fear of Him is an experience; it is a barrier to foolishness." (Bernard of Clairvaux: sermon 23)
God knows we need Him. When we allow Him into our lives, giving Him free reign, our lives and the lives of those around us are better. To paraphrase Fr. Alfred Delp once again: When we truly understand fear of the Lord, our slavish fear of God dies, and so does our fear of other people.
So go ahead, fear God~know that He is Lord, and live.


Daily Grace said…
How refreshing it is to the soul, to recognize fear as a crown of joy! It is like a song of praise for the heart to dwell upon.

"Much in our lives would be different if more people knew the easy, simple sentence~ and vividly understood~ that God is the Lord."
This line reminds me of the many unbelievers, the ones that do not know or do not love the Lord and it makes me sad.

Yet, I know that they are loved every bit as much by God as we are, and I pray for them daily.

This is such a great post Karinann. Thank you so much, it gives me much to ponder.

God bless
mary333 said…
Powerful post, Karin. Very powerful - I had a witness in the spirit just reading it.

Like both you and DG I was struck by the words, "Much in our lives would be different if more people knew the easy, simple sentence - and vividly understood - that God is the Lord." Talk about simple but profound! I just copied them down so that I could tape it where I could read them each day. Seriously, I was struck dumb by the sheer beauty and simplicity of these words and I kept reading them over and over. This entire post was beautiful, Karin. Thank you.
Karinann said…
Thanks DG and Mary. Like both of you, Fr. Delp's words struck deep in me as well. I too repeated it over again. Such a simple sentence but one that we could meditate and pray with forever.
Blessings to you both.
Colleen said…
At the end of this post you wrote that Father Delp said our fear of other people fades too - yes. I have found that the more I love and trust God, the more I love and trust other people.
I often think of fear of the Lord as awe and reverence.
Great post! Hugs and blessings!
Karinann said…
Thanks for your thoughts on this. Awe and reverence are a good interpretation of this holy fear. Love for God and others are definitely connected-Scripture and the saints tell us so.
Hugs & blessings back :)
Jesus taught us to pray "Our Father ..."

We do not fear our earthly father if he is loving, caring and provides for us. In the same way, we should not fear our Heavenly Father in the way we fear a tyrant and a bully.

But we should respect Him for who He is and what He has done for us.

Sadly, respect has long gone these days in more ways than one. We no longer respect authority, our leaders, our teachers, our elders, or our parents. And many no longer even believe in God, let alone respect Him.

This is a wonderful post Karinann. It deserves a wider audience.

God bless.
Karinann said…
Thanks Victor. Perhaps I will post it on the Catholic Community blog and the Association Catholic Women Bloggers as well.
I know what you mean about the lack of respect. If people can't respect those they see in front of them, how can they respect God who they can not see.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. God bless.
Michael said…
Great reminder ;)

God Bless