June 16

When the sun rises and casts its light on the world, it reveals both itself and the things it illumines. Similarly, when the Sun of righteousness rises in the pure intellect (nous), he reveals both Himself and the inner principles of all that has been and will be brought into existence by Him.

Fear of God is of two kinds. The first is generated in us by the threat of punishment. Is is through such fear that we develop in due order self-control, patience, hope in God and dispassion; and it is from dispassion that love comes. The second kind of fear is linked with love and constantly produces reverence in the soul, so that it does not grow indifferent to God because of the intimate communion of its love.

The first kind of fear is expelled by perfect love when the soul has acquired this and is no longer afraid of punishment (1 John 4:18). The second kind, as we have already said, is always found united with perfect love. The first kind of fear is referred to in the following two verses: ‘Out of fear of the Lord men shun evil’ (Proverbs 16:6), and ‘Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ (Psalm 111:10). The second kind is mentioned in the following verses: ‘Fear of the Lord is pure, and endures forever’ (Psalm 19:9 LXX), and ‘Those who fear the Lord will not want for anything’ (Psalm 34:10 LXX).

~St Maximos the Confessor

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