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Fear of the Lord is the alarm bell of conscience, Pope explains

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During his Wednesday General Audience yesterday, Pope Francis gave a reflection on the gift of the Holy Spirit that is usually called “Fear of the Lord,” saying that the gift of Fear of the Lord is not unlike a kind of alarm bell that reminds us that we must do the right thing. “Fear of the Lord is an ‘alarm.’ When a person is not on the right path, he settles himself in evil,” the Holy Father reflected, “when he distances himself from God, when he takes advantage of everyone, when he lives attached to money, to vanity, to power or pride, then the holy fear of God draws his attention: You will not be happy like this, this way you will end badly.”

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Pope Francis reminded the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square that the gift of Fear of the Lord does not mean that we should be afraid to approach God. “The fear of the Lord, the gift of the Holy Spirit, doesn’t mean being afraid of God, since we know that God is our Father that always loves and forgives us,” the Pontiff taught. “It is no servile fear, but rather a joyful awareness of God’s grandeur and a grateful realization that only in him do our hearts find true peace, when the Holy Spirit lives in our heart, he instills consolation and peace in us.” The Holy Father further explained that this peace within us “the attitude of those who place all their trust in God and feel protected, like a child with his father,” saying that it is through the gift of Fear of the Lord that we will become, spiritually, just like Jesus asked us to be, to be as little children. This gift “allows us to imitate the Lord in humility and obedience, not with a resigned and passive attitude, but with courage and joy. He turns us into Christians convinced that we are not subject to the Lord out of fear, but rather conquered by his paternal love.”

“Let us pray that the fear of God, together with the other gifts of the Holy Spirit, will renew us in faith and constantly remind us that in God alone do we find our ultimate happiness, freedom and fulfilment.”