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Saturday, July 15, 2000

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St. Bonaventure

Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 93
Matthew 10:24-33

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fight fear with fear

"Then I said, 'Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!' " —Isaiah 6:5

Love can push out of our lives the fear of human beings, the fear of pain, and the fear of death (see 1 Jn 4:18). To love, we must have faith in the Lord, for love is an expression of faith (see Gal 5:6). To have a deep faith, we need the fear of the Lord, that is, an awe of God's presence. Thus, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of faith, love, and fearlessness. Consequently, "he who fears the Lord is never alarmed, never afraid; for the Lord is his Hope" (Sir 34:14). For example, Isaiah fearlessly volunteered to be sent by the Lord on a daunting prophetic mission because Isaiah had been overtaken (see Acts 2:43) by the fear of the Lord (Is 6:1ff).

At our Confirmations, each of our bishops or his delegate specifically prayed for us to receive the fear of the Lord (see Is 11:2-3). Therefore, we have this gift. Then, if we deepen our fear of the Lord (see Acts 9:31), we will deepen our faith and love, and we will be fearless and free.

In this year of the Great Jubilee, renew your Confirmation. Ask for a deeper fear of the Lord — no matter what it takes. Only the God-fearing are fearless.

Prayer:  Father, may I be awed in Your presence. Raise up great, God-fearing, fearless men and women of God.

Promise:  "Do not be afraid of anything. You are worth more than an entire flock of sparrows. Whoever acknowledges Me before men I will acknowledge before My Father in heaven." —Mt 10:31-32

Praise:  When St. Bonaventure was a small boy, he was cured of a serious illness when St. Francis of Assisi prayed over him.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999