Holy Fear of God Inspires Confidence

Father Frassinetti states: “The holy fear of God ought to inspire great confidence. . . . He inspires in us the feeling of His holy fear that we may avoid sin, that we may repent when we have sinned, that we may not fall under the weight of His severe judgments, that we may go free from the chastisements of sin; in a word, He desires that we may fear Him, in order that He may not be forced to chastise us. Therefore He inspires in us the sentiments of His holy fear, not to make us experience the terrible effects of His justice, but the gentle and loving force of His mercy.”

“Does it not appear very clearly evident that this same fear of God ought to inspire the greatest confidence in us? And that this confidence should not merely be felt by the just, but also by sinners, even by those most laden with iniquities? To feel a holy fear of God is to have a pledge, an earnest, of the mercy which He desires to bestow upon us. If, by reason of our sins, He did not mean to show us pity any longer, neither would He give us the grace of fearing Him. . . . When therefore you feel within yourself that you have the fear of God, of His judgments, of His chastisements, these very emotions ought to make you feel sure that God is reserving for you, not the rigours of His justice, but the loving proofs of His mercy.”

“Is not Almighty God more good and more merciful than we are bad? And while the voice of our sins cries out for vengeance and chastisement, does not the voice of the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ cry out infinitely more for peace and pardon? Yes, we should confide much more in the benignity of God than we should fear His justice.”

Quotations from Joseph Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul, trans. Georgiana Lady Chatterton (London: Burns and Oates, 1876).

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