Proper fear

Sound moral judgement has the same effect as wisdom, and is a most powerful factor drawing us upwards.  Hence it too has its part to play.  For the knowledge of the virtues involves the most scrupulous discrimination between good and evil; and this requires sound moral judgement.  Experience and the struggle with the body teaches us how to use such judgement in our warfare.

Fear also comes, into the argument.  For the greater our longing for God the greater grows our fear; and the more we hope to attain God, the more we fear Him.  If we are wounded by divine love, the sting far exceeds that of a thousand threats of punishment.  For as nothing is more blessed than to attain God, so nothing is more terrible than this great fear of losing Him.  —Theoretikon ‘Philokalia’


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