January 7, 2015

John, Chapter 4, verse 18:
7 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

Notice fear is used in this verse four times; it is interesting to note that Saints Bonaventure and the master theologian Thomas Aquinas taught that there are four types of fear: worldly fear; servile fear; initial fear and filial fear.  As we progress we move through these fears to get to filial fear which in born out of love.

Father Bransfield[1] points out we must move through our fears to find our true identity.  He exclaims fear can be a path to perfect happiness and rest in the arms of our Lord.  In fact fear can be a foundation upon which we can build our spiritual house.  He states the Holy Spirit uses our fear to develop two spiritual gifts within us. The gift of Hope knowing and believing in a God who is greater than us to overcome our character defects and the second gift is the advance of temperance to overcome our imbalances and character failings.

Through Hope we receive the fruits of the Holy Spirit long suffering, kindness and goodness.  As our temperance increases so do the gifts of faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Lastly we receive the gifts of love, joy and peace.

Through the fruits of the Holy Spirit we mirror the trinity in our daily lives.  We reflect the love, joy, peace of the Father.  We reveal the son through our long suffering, kindness, goodness.  By our faithfulness, gentleness and self-control our spirit co-mingles with that of the Holy Spirit.

[1] J. Brain Bransfield, Living the Beatitudes-A Journey to Life in Christ, 2011, Pauline Books, Boston.


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