We’re preparing ourselves to receive the Holy Spirit in a new way at the celebration of Pentecost, the day we recall the gift of the Holy Spirit given to the disciples who were in one place together in Acts 2. There are so many ways we could prepare. This series is focusing on the gifts the Holy Spirit will provide for those who are prepared to receive them, which will allow us to live entirely for the Lord by prayer and action. For more information about this series, click here to find the original post.
Our next gift to review is the gift of Fear (it may be called Fear of the Lord).
How does this gift help?
This is a great gift! Do you remember when we looked at the gift of Piety and from the gift of Piety we begin to see God as the best and most loving Father? Perfect. Keep that thought in mind as we review the gift of Fear. The gift of Fear helps us desire to please God in everything we do, say, and think. Where does the fear come into play? The gift of fear gives us a vivid sense of God’s greatness and therefore extreme dread of the least sin that may offend him. This gift helps us want to not disappoint our good Father. Because we hold onto the greatness of God at all times, we experience great sorrow at even the smallest sin against him and desire to make up for it by multiplying our acts of love and sacrifice. What’s more, this gift leads us to vigilantly avoid temptations to sin, much like we would avoid a rattle snake or some other deadly creature. This includes growing in detachment from any worldly pleasures that may lead us away from our Father.
Who needs this gift?
Some people begin to take God’s mercy for granted. They begin to think God doesn’t mind this sin or that, or even that God doesn’t mind any sin committed against him. These are the people who need to receive this gift! God cares about everything we do, and he especially cares about our sinful actions. He wants us to live entirely for him, which means avoiding sinful behavior. Our sinful behavior can keep us from Heaven! Too many people forget that he is still the infinite God. Yes, he loves us with such tender love and he is always ready to forgive our sins when we repent of them, but he is still the infinite God and demands excellence from his children.
How do I prepare myself to receive the gift of Fear?
Every day, sit down and examine your conscience and ask the Lord to reveal to you those times when you have offended him. This may mean picking up a detailed Examination of Conscience at your local parish or online. Ask the question: Do I hate my sins? Do I want to be freed from my tendency toward this sin or that? Am I aware of how much I offend the Lord by turning away from him? Am I aware of God’s infinite majesty or have I forgotten? Have I become too complacent in my relationship with God? Do I strive to please my Heavenly Father in everything I do, say, and think?
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever. Help me to shun all things that can offend you, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of your Divine Majesty in Heaven, where you live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.