February 17th, 1982, Serial No. 01009

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Monastic Spirituality, Set 6 of 12

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We got as far as page 118, and just to review very briefly, we talked about the fear of God and what it is, and very briefly it seems to be just the sense of the presence of God. The sense of the fear of God is the sense of God, the sense of the presence of God. But there are two different things here that are related, just as when we're talking about humility, there are two kinds of humility. There's the gift or the experience of humility, or what they call perfect humility, divine humility, supernatural humility, and then there's our efforts in that direction, where there's a kind that we cultivate, where it's what we do in order to cultivate humility. Now, these are two different things, and one of them has all of the imperfections and all of the incompleteness of anything that we do, and the other one is perfect, or rather the other is just the reality, it's just the truth. If you experience humility, then there's no question about it, there's no doubt if you experience that sense of whatever it be.


If you experience the fear of God, you don't ask about it anymore, there's no question about it. But our efforts towards the fear of God, or the ideology of the fear of God, or the doctrine and the spirituality and the pursuit of the fear of God can be mistaken, and often is. And people sometimes canonize a particular tradition or a particular way of doing something with the sanctity and the reality, the authenticity of the gift itself, which is something else. But it is valid to seek for the fear of God, we have to do it our way, just like with humility, there are all sorts of bugs possible, and all sorts of errors. So I think we can say that the fear of God is something like simply the sense of the presence of God, but it's a presence of God which is somehow in truth, rather than just the pleasant presence of God, or the presence of God which can turn into a kind of self-satisfaction. It's the presence of God as he is, and this has a quality of fear, and even though we know the word fear isn't quite adequate, but it's a primitive word, it's one of those global


words, that's why we have it, because one of those global words that you find, for instance, in the Hebrew, that never quite leaves a term, even though they don't adequately cover it as we go on, and in the end we may be talking about it as just a quality of love. We talked about the opposite of this fear of God as parousia, and, as a matter of fact, in that letter of James that we're reading now, in the Eucharist, that sort of thing that he's talking about is a kind of parousia, that overconfidence that leads people to talk easily and to talk too much, and is really a forgetfulness of the word of God, a forgetfulness of the presence of God. And so he tries to instill a kind of fear in order to bring people back out of it. And he talks very heavy words sometimes, very terrible sounding words at certain points to correct that kind of carelessness, that kind of presumption or arrogance or whatever you want to call it. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. That anger has got something


to do with this confidence that we're talking about as parousia, even though it's not directly the same thing. You see, with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your soul. Now, we find out that this fear of God, largely, as Dorotheus talks about it, is not directly concerning God, but rather connected with a brother. It immediately expresses itself in our attitude towards one another. It turns out to be respect for one's brother. Just as the fear of God in the Old Testament often, it seems to me, is expressed in justice as well as in the reverence of worship. So when you get the prophets trying to instill the fear of God, what are they telling? They're telling people not to extort from widows and orphans, that kind of thing. They're telling them to be just, because the real expression of the fear


of God in a person's life is not just that he bows his head, and that he prostrates, and that he fasts, and that he prays, and that he does things that are related to God in what we might call a vertical direction, but rather that his whole life, his life of relation with other people, is in the sight of God. And similarly, when you find St. Benedict talking about the abbot, remember to let the abbot distribute to everybody what he needs. He says at the end, let him remember finally the retribution of God. It's the same thing. The fear of God is manifest, and when he says that the cellar, is it the cellar or the guest master, should be a man full of the fear of God? That's not so that he'll look monastic, that's so that he will treat people right. So it's manifested immediately in that way. He tells these stories about the horrible things that happened to him. They're really funny. You can't think of anything worse about him hardly now. But he didn't get faint-hearted. Now, to be faint-hearted paradoxically


is to get mad, is to lose your patience. So to be stout-hearted, as he says, is to be patient, that is somehow to swallow it in the grace of God. Don't be like a pumpkin that immediately goes rotten if the mat comes up to it and punches it, but rather have a stout heart, have patience, so that your love for one another may conquer everything that comes up against it. That has to be, the final thing, there's a word in there that he doesn't speak, and that's the word of faith, believing in love, believing in the communion that's given, and therefore in the strength that's given to maintain that bond of charities, as St. Paul says. And then he goes on to talk about these jobs. If anybody should have a job in the monastery, if anyone should be given a commission, let him take care to seek the answer himself. This is where the translation really gets bad.


This is the first time that I checked it with this other thing, but sometimes he misses the meaning entirely. I don't like to be critical about this, and my Greek is not good, but this is worse. And he confesses in that foreword that he was using it to learn Greek, and sometimes he totally misses the point. So I don't know if it's that bad throughout, but in this one we notice it particularly. So we'll have to do what we can. We don't have another one, we don't have another English translations program. Fr. Francis never did that, he did Diadrocus, but he never did that. I don't think so, because he's not a hesychast writer, he's a Cenobite, and he's always writing about this community dimension, and the hesychasts are not interested. Let's see if we can get anything from that also, just for comparison.


Okay, here we go. This is on the top of page 119, in a job now, when somebody has something to do. Before all things, let him stick to his, that shouldn't be position, that's his, let him maintain his calm of heart, let him maintain his state. The word is katastasis, which means to be calm, [...] to be calm. In here there's a footnote from Haussler, it means order, stability, tranquility, firmness in a state conformed to nature. Now this is the sort of non-religious use, and so it takes the sense of stability, of tranquility, tranquil possession. In other words, it's peace of heart, or purity of heart, according to Cashin, basically. They might use it sometimes, but it's not their main word. Their main word is hezekiah, but it's very much like hezekiah, okay? They're really two different manifestations of the same


thing, in that this is a more general term, but hezekiah pertains especially to solitude, and to a state where you're not involved with others, okay? And it has these other senses of external hezekiah, which is a life of isolation and so on, whereas this is a more general term. Let him hold on to his inner state, and not for any reason allow himself to cause a disturbance, okay? So the idea is self-will versus this peace of heart. And so depart from the commandment of God. Now the commandment of God is love, you see, and humility, and this meekness and so on that St. James is talking about. Now, the next sentence is kind of messy. Whether the business is thought to be of little importance or great, it should be, it's better that he despise it or neglect it, than lose his peace, you see, and cause a commotion. Whereas he's got, let him never despise or neglect it.


You notice the continuity in the argument goes better like this. Neglect is a bad thing, however, you see, the sense is neglect is a bad thing, but it's better not to cause a disturbance than to let the work go, in this case, to let the thing. You can argue against Dorothy's position on this thing. And it's not, let him not be puffed up on account of the position he holds. It's a, you totally missed it there. Because if this happens, he will do himself up. That's not right. Neglect here means indifference, but indifference is a bad thing, but he's saying it is more important that he maintain charity, that he maintain community, communion, and this piece of heart which is, it's inner correlate, than that he get the work done. If you're concerned running a business, even if it's very, okay. So it's continuous. He's not saying two different things that stand against one another. Really, he's going right on. I don't want you ever to


deal with contentiousness or disorder, but you'll be fully convinced that all the work you're doing, there's only one-eighth of part of the thing you're receiving. Okay, so one-eighth is the task itself, and four-eighths, or one-half, is the state. And the state is really this calmness, this catastasis, this tranquility, the purity of heart. See then how great the difference is. Inner dispositions. Fear from the pressure of the work we have to do is not really if we have to dispense ourselves from some rule, it's if we violate the commandment. You see, the commandment of love. And we are hurt, or someone else. You see, we're destroying the half in order to preserve the other half. Either through ambition or through seeking to please men. The one who does this remains contentious and torments both himself and his neighbor. This is an alternative translation.


So that later he can hear it said of him that nobody got the better of him. That nobody got the better of him is good though, I think. That's what it means. In other words, the person who can't lose, the person who has such a contentious, such a combative competitive drive in him, that he's unable to let anybody seem to get the better of him, and therefore he has to argue, he has to hold on, he can't yield. He can't let anybody else sort of win. And he says that's ruins. God bless my soul, what great manliness. See, he's talking before about this stout-heartedness, and now he's talking about this other thing, this illusory strength, or carnal strength, you know what I mean. So you've got two levels of priority. The one level of priority is the job itself, the task, the goal. The other level of priority has two things. They're both on the same level. One is your own inner state and the other is your brother, or you call it the communion


between you. And there are two totally different orders. And in the monastic life, one takes complete priority over the other. Now it could sound, therefore, like he's telling the monks just to be negligent, you know, just to be careless about their work, as if that were not important. So then he comes back and tries to correct them. I don't tell you this so that you should immediately become timid and run away from what you have to do, or become neglectful. Hold all your strength and readiness to do every service with love and humility, deferring to one another, honoring one another. Consoling one another should be encouraging one another, really. The reflection there of Saint Paul in Philippians 2, remember where he says if there's any, you know, encouraging, if there's any consolation in love, he says honor one another, prefer one another. Also the chapter of the will of Saint Benedict on good zeal. Nothing is more powerful than humility. See, here he comes back to the paradox there, that what seems to be strength is weakness and what seems to be weakness is strength.


So that stout-heartedness that he was talking about before, which is inner patience under things that bother you, under difficult things, inner patience, which is humility, turns out to be the real strength. And the outer strength for him is a sham, which causes contention, which causes division. And then he repeats what he was saying. It does happen sometimes that a man loses the eighth itself and accomplishes nothing at all. Well done, about two-thirds time appears there. This is what happens with those who are really contentious. So those who really prefer to fight, they lose the eighth, they don't even get the job done, and they also lose the four-eighth. I don't know what the other three-eighths are. There you got a view.


And then the next part, the translation is messed up. Our basic principle is that all the work we do, we do through the help we get from others. I hope not. We'll have to check it as we go forward. This is the argument. Now, see, there's continuity in the original, and then it goes back and forth, seemingly from one point to another, the way he's got it translated. Now, what profit... Let's see, it's absolutely sure that all of our works, we do them in order to get some profit from them, okay? Now, notice the way he's got it. Our basic principle is that all the work we do, we do through the help we get from others. Now, what profit can we draw from the work if we don't humiliate ourselves before one another?


On the contrary, we find just trouble, and we afflict the other and afflict ourselves too. So there's a continuity there. You see, his argument goes right on. It doesn't zigzag the way it seems, or it doesn't lose its sense. So Dorotheus is a more powerful writer than one might understand by reading the translation. From the neighbor is life, and from the neighbor is death. The reference there at 22 is really Antony 9, it's not Antony 1. And that CS 59 reference is this year, it's on page 2. He also said, our life and our death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ. So Dorotheus seems to be interpreting it in the same sense as Antony is saying it, this idea of scandalizing by violence, by anger. God himself, the lover of men, will grant us this fear of him, for it is written,


fear God and keep his precepts, because this is required of all men. Actually, there are two translations of that, you'll find if you look it up. It's at the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes, and the usual translation is, fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole of man, this is the whole duty of man. It makes more sense, it's more satisfying. The RSV gives both, but the one that he has here is given as a footnote. Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole of man. That's the end of it, just about the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes. He said, let this be the end, this is the end of everything, and he says that, so Dorotheus makes it the end of everything in his discourse. Any questions or comments about that before we just review it a little bit? This whole business of the fear of God. It's about two things I was thinking about, the way Parousia is used in the New Testament,


and it's confidence, and the way the bottle is tapped is long-term confidence. It almost seems like it's two different things, it's like they're not two different things. That's right. It's like saying, the bottle of candy and the bottle of God is the same thing. That's right, it's like... It's the love of self, actually, or love of God. The word love is just as ambiguous, right? And actually we're finding that the word fear is ambiguous too, isn't it? And there's a whole range, a whole spectrum of meanings inside that word fear. Servile fear, which is a neurotic fear, really sick fear, all the way to the fear which accompanies the perfect love of God. So you find that ambiguity pretty often, I think, in this language. And it's true, what you say there. And it's confusing, actually, the fact that there's a positive meaning and a negative meaning, which at first sight is not that easy to tell apart, until you look to see what's inside.


It's true. I don't know why they chose that. There's certain things that really astonish you in the early patristic tradition. Why they pick up certain things is seemingly a direct contradiction to the scriptures, you know? They use something in a whole other sense. I like that thing about, Call no man on earth your father, and then start calling no man your father, at least after a few centuries. So it's just a historical fact, that's right. But I think that was because it was already in that way in the Greek, okay? Remember, we've got a Greek history for these words, aside from the Christian meaning, okay? So the sense of familiarity, probably also in the negative sense, was already, it must have been, in the Greek culture, around Christianity, okay? So that sort of outflanked the really positive Christian meaning. And the scripture obviously didn't do that, did it? Yes, yeah. Well, it's got a positive sense in Greek, too, okay?


Remember, it was a confidence of a citizen. So, but it probably had a negative at the same time. Keto might have, I didn't look that up to check. You know, the theological issue, I didn't test it. I was just wondering whether it is right now that you would, what about God, you know, people who go to this time, and how do you apply it to other people? It's similar, you know? Because it's a similar forgetfulness that he's talking about there, a kind of self-willed heedlessness, a forgetfulness of God. And the contrary to it is the fear of God, that you may not live that long. That's what he says right away. But I don't think he uses the word. Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gains, whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. All such boasting is evil. I don't know what the word there for boasting is.


It would be easy to find. Yeah, that's right, that's right. Remember that there's another word that sounds something like this, that's parousia, which is the second coming of the world, and sometimes we can get it mixed up just accidentally. And my pronunciation to these things are not always right either. So they're subject to correction. The fear of God in the scriptures. I didn't read this whole article in the Dictionary of Spirituality, but it's the fullest treatment I know of this subject through the whole history. The Old Testament connects this to the Christian. The author points out that in the Old Testament, the fear of God is not so much a fear of his retributions, necessarily, but it's inspired less by his acts than by his being, in a sense. Or in a deeper sense, it's the sense of reverence or awe,


or whatever you want to call it, that's inspired by the very being of the very presence of God, and which is a kind of instinctive thing before even anything is said. When the angel of God appears, or when there's a divine manifestation of some kind, the people are filled with fear. This happens even in the Acts of the Apostles. Remember, in the second chapter, when the apostles are giving this witness to the resurrection of the Lord, and the whole community is gathered together, and there are these marvels, these signs and wonders, and everybody is filled with fear. It seems a strange thing, because it all seems so positive, it seems so much a manifestation of love and a blessing. But the people are filled with fear. They're filled with fear at the different, that which obviously is out of the ordinary and greater than the ordinary, that which is transcendent. And so this fear is always somehow connected with the boundary line of our limitation. And it's connected, therefore, with the possibility of death, of our mortality, which is a concrete sign, expression of our limitation.


And it's the kind of sense, the awakening of the boundary line, whatever sense that is that we have of that boundary line, between our limitation and that which transcends it. So transcendence is transcendence into death. It's transcendence into a supernatural, a presence of God. It's transcendence ultimately into God himself. If it's big enough to be concerned with, really, we tend to feel it. If we can't handle it, it involves us too, you know. Like God involves us. There's the other thing there, in this fear of God, that it's as if we realize the difference between God and us. And as you move from the fear of God to the love of God, or from the servile fear of God, it's like a fear in difference,


a fear where you know that you're separate from God, and he's outside you. And the love of God, which brings about that other fear, is like one knows his oneness with God, and has a certain awareness still that he can lose that oneness, that the oneness is not an absolute possession. The difference between separation and oneness is between outside and inside. Fear of God. When I think about it, rather than... It seems so godless, of course, you know what I mean. But to be fearful of God, you can get through it kind of far away. And it's like our blood, it's in the body, it flows through us. Somebody cuts, you know, cuts the skin and starts bleeding profusely,


and you can't be fearful of God. That's right. But we've gone out of curiosity, we've got ourselves a little bit of a feeling that we have a life, that we've gone and died, and it's not really a fear, it's kind of more of an involvement with somebody, including the ones that are involved with somebody, or something that's involved, and it's alive. That is a fear, it's not a negative fear, it's not even a respect, it's just kind of a problem in the relationship with God. Okay, I think there's something else in there though, okay? When you mentioned the... If you open a vein, you know, and you see your own blood flowing, usually there's a kind of a shrinking of our nature at that point,


a kind of fear again. And you know, blood in the Old Testament, there's a lot of blood in the Old Testament, and that blood is a symbol of death, it's a symbol of mortality in some sense. And all those sacrifices that the Jews are doing, in some way it's as if they're representing before themselves their own mortality, it's as if they're dramatizing their own death actually, you know, their own limitation, their own finitude, the fact that they're going to come to an end physically. And that expression of this transcendence somehow puts the element of fear into them, into the situation. Whenever we see blood, it's as if there's that sense, it speaks to us because it's our own blood looking at us. Now, this is a difficult thing, but one thing is that sense of the total organic involvement with God, a sort of continuity with God, in which fear would be out of place, as if God is the blood in our veins. And he is, in a sense, because he is the spirit. But there's something else there. There's... God is free and there's a word which comes,


there's a questioning which comes and asks us... What does it ask us? It asks us, are we really right about that confidence that we have with respect to our oneness with God? Or do we really know him completely? Or is there something that we've left out? Is it possible that he has a word to say? Is it possible that he might come and speak to me and bring me up short? That kind of thing, okay? Is it possible that he will speak and he'll say, wait a minute, don't take that for granted? It's got to do with that. The fear of God is connected with this free God, who we cannot sort of take for granted as being totally possessed. He remains distinct. It's a very hard thing to get this across. I was thinking also about how these two religions, they don't have this thing in here. That Christian God speaks to you and he makes a covenant with his people in which he demands a response. Yeah, yeah.


So that's where you find this. That's right. See, there's a Trinitarian pattern here, okay? First you've got to kind of call it a natural religion in a sense. Although in natural religions, I think there's been plenty of fear, you know, there's even been human sacrifice and so on. But on a natural level, you can have a kind of cosmic religion in which the only fear is a natural fear, is a fear of death and so on. There's no fear of God. You can consider God sort of to be the cosmic blessedness or whatever, cosmic bliss or whatever, okay? And we can even feel that. But then comes something else. Then comes God's peace. And all of a sudden you discover that he's not just, he's not only this, you know? And here, I'm not coming directly on what you're saying, because this is a whole other thing, okay? I don't want to be seeming to limit what you're saying. But some of the Eastern religions give you this sense, at least some of the gurus who preach the Eastern religions give you this sense that there's no place for fear, because simply it's bliss, you know? Know your own nature, and you are God, you know? And it's nothing but complete freedom, complete.


All you have to do is learn how to love in that sense, and you're one with everything. And there's a truth in there. And at the same time, there's a great big gap, because something's happened in history and God has spoken. And when he speaks, we learn that it's not that simple, that we actually have to listen to him, and that he may have something else to say, besides what comes from just from within us, that there may be a word that comes from outside of this and convinces. And here you have the whole prophetic thing, the thing about prophetic religion, okay? The Jewish religion is a prophetic religion where you think you're doing fine, and then somebody knocks on the door, and he says, you are that man, you know, and you have sinned. And then you go back, all the way back to the beginning, like David, right? It's that kind of religion. God speaks, and he says something, and he shocks us when he says that. And for instance, a lot of the Jews probably thought they were doing pretty good, and then John the Baptist comes along and says, you brood of vipers, you haven't even begun. You're phonies, he says, right? And then they have to go out and get baptized, and then Jesus comes. But there's this threefold thing. The union is in the third phase.


The final union is in the third phase, which is the giving of the spirit. The first phase is a kind of naive union, okay? A kind of cosmic religion, you can say, a natural religion in a sense. I'm being very crude. Because things are all mixed up, actually, in history. But there's this kind of pattern, where you have a kind of simple natural relationship to God, a cosmic relationship to God, and then you have this word of God that comes in at a certain point. And you realize you're dealing with a person all of a sudden. And you can't manufacture your own gods anymore. You can't sort of put together your own religion. You've got to listen to him. He's got something to say, and now he's going to begin to reveal himself in a different way, in a new way. And it's an interpersonal relationship with him. He's not going to be bamboozled. He's not going to be led around, because actually, he's running the show. It's a whole different thing when we're dealing with a person like that. And it's frightening, too. And then, gradually, this opens up into the revelation of Christ and the giving of the spirit, when the gap is bridged. And the dialectic between the Old Testament and the New Testament is like a dialectic between separation and union.


But before the union can come, finally, there has to be the separation. There has to be the sword of the spirit. Remember how the letter to Hebrews talks about the two-edged sword of the spirit? And that every part of ourselves, all of our thoughts are naked before him. And the image of it is that of some kind of an animal which is stretched out, ready to be sacrificed under the knife, under the sword. It's a horrible image. But anyway, there's the word that comes in and says, well, you don't know the half of it. Well, you know, it confronts us and sets us back and makes us listen. And then, finally, the spirit comes and unites us across that gap, across that gap. But we have to find out first that we're different from God. And that's where this fear of God comes in. That's why there's so much of that in the Old Testament. It's as if all of the idolatry and stuff of the Canaanite religion, you know, the religions that are around the Jews, had to be overcome with this prophetic word of the fear of God, you know, the separate, the authority, the, what would you call it? All the authority of God. The fact that he speaks, he identifies himself, and he says what it's going to be. He determines it.


That kind of thing. And then around it, at the end, the spirit comes in, and you find that God is inside you more yourself than you were, no? But it's across this gap. It's a whole breakthrough into a different horizon. That's right, that's right. And there's already a kind of participation. You know, the fear of God comes in between the true self and the ego, or between God and the ego, okay? And it's the ego, I wanted to make a diagram, okay? So, suppose we have, we have one level here,


where on one side, you have this servile fear. And on the other side, we have this parasita, the bad guy. And this level is the level of that carnal self, okay? We could call it the ego, but we didn't touch on it. And down here, there's another self. This is a kind of hermaphrodite, you know. You could call it the center of this one. Okay, here you're on the level of only self-centered experiences, okay?


It's like, I don't know, it's like the animal which can only be trained by, either by punishment, or either the stick or the carrot, okay? It's the stick or the carrot. You're on the level of just sensible experience. Now, that's not the place to stay, that's for sure, but we have such a level in us, in which the only thing that will pull us back from pleasure, from self-love, is some kind of fear. It's hard for us to, you know, accept that. But then there's a movement toward this other level here. And this is the level of love, where I'm not making it clear. And also the level of truth. And if you want to, you can put in the word of the spirit. The word over here, the spirit over here. So it's really a Trinitarian. And this is our true being down here, okay?


It's a really image of God, a Trinitarian image of God. But here, and, wait a minute, there's a lot of spirit in that one side, and truth is very important on the other side. And this is where we start. And the road down here is through, through hope somehow, in which we let go of what we were stuck on, and sort of walk across this empty space, into the deep of God. But as long as we're up here, this is all we respond to, to get us where we get the pleasure of it, okay? The pleasure. And as we move down here, we move from carnal love, or self-love, down to true love, to the natural ability, to wisdom. Which is what he gets to here at the end, more or less. I wonder if this is inter-separating,


let's say, the ego or the consul. If you make a separation, then it seems that here has only a place, not in the superficial level, where there's a, there's a deep truth. Okay, we gotta, we have to be real good. Here or over here, okay? That word's important, because if it doesn't, you've had a relationship with eternity. Where it becomes reverence. Yeah, it's reverence. So, and the word is still there. See, the word is still there to tell you, you are not God, and yet you are God, okay? You're not God, naturally, naturally. So, but by gift, by adoption, you are God. And the word is there to tell you that if we didn't have the word in between, we wouldn't have that, we wouldn't have that feeling. I mean, I said, you know, the word has to be experienced. The word is there. It's that dimension. You can love whatever you need. It comes from love, you see.


In fact, it's the cherishing of the love somehow that makes one feel visible. But one knows that one could lose it because one is still a man, and one is still a person of love. That's what I completely agree with you. It's the, it's the connotation of feeling. That's right. And I follow this thing that you told me about purity. Even though Anthony says, I don't know how to purify my love, he must return to that. And then at a certain time, in a sense of purity, in fact, the real is power, substantial division of power is also purity. There are places where his feeling of confidence,


his sense of confidence, and just of the power of this truth at that point is so strong that he talks like that. And then he'll come back at another time and say, we'll capture salvation. And then he'll say at another time, the spirit you received is not a spirit of fear, it's a spirit of power and love and self-control. Well, he says cast out fear. It's not, he doesn't say all fear, he just says fear. So it sort of leaves it to you to, to interpret what kind of fear he's talking about. This is John, first letter of John chapter four. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the son of God, God abides in him and he in God. Now you can see how there's a certain kind of fear that's incompatible with that. When God is in you, then that fear of separation in a sense has been transcended because you're one,


and yet that can still be lost. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love and he who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. And this is love perfected with us that we may have confidence for the day of judgment. I don't know what the word, I think that's Parisian as a matter of fact. Have confidence for the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and he who fears is not perfected in love. I don't know if you can describe it in any other way. But it's in some other sense that there's a privilege to be perfected in love. I don't know if you can describe it in any other way. It doesn't mean how perfected in love there is to be perfected in love. There's a privilege to be perfected in love and that's what we are. We are perfected in love. There's some kind of fear in the fear of himself that he's not perfected in love. Yeah, certainly a certain kind of fear. The fear of pain has been cast out entirely, I think.


It's hard for us even to talk about these things without sharing their experience. But the way that they talk sometimes they certainly weren't feeling any fear, you know. But I think, for instance, Saint Teresa would talk about that. And, you know, at another moment she'd say through your whole life you really need to keep the fear of hell around because there are times when you're going to need it. He quotes her in this sense. Teresa of Avila, you know. So you find that the fear of physical pain or something like that can be completely, completely gone. The only fear in her then at that time when she's talking, would be the fear of losing God. There was physical pain, she said. There was a lot of absence of God. There's a paradox in what she's saying there, though. It's like when Saint Paul says I'd be willing to be cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren. But when he says that, or when she says that, it's like it's a total impossibility, isn't it, because they're talking from that


union, you know. They're talking from that union, and they're saying that because of the strength they feel in that union, they would be willing not to have it, because it's a kind of it seems to be a kind of impossibility. It seems like he's gone beyond that because his fear of attending hell even though he may experience being cut off from God, if it's God's will That's the way they see it. But they can be extremely sensitive and they would see a kind of offense to God or a grieving God in some kind of religion. There's been quite a bit of discussion about this whole business of fear. One interesting


place in the Scriptures, by the way, I'm just skipping to another place, but there's a place in Isaiah where, remember, he talks about the Messiah, the one who is to come and receive these, the Spirit of the Lord will be upon him, receive all his gifts and he will be filled with the fear of the Lord. He'll be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. That's in Isaiah 11. And yet he's to be the Messiah. And so they call Jesus the one who has the perfect fear of the Lord. There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him the Spirit of wisdom and understanding the Spirit of counsel and light, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord and his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. There's a paradox. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. It's like that thing in the psalm where it's written in the role of the book I come to do your will. My delight is to do your will. There it doesn't seem to be fear at all


actually, it's just something it's the knowledge of God a total conformity with God's will a total sensitivity you can call it fear sensitivity total sensitivity to God's will. That's right. That's right. And that's the way it is. By the way, when John says perfect love casts out fear I don't think he's saying that perfect love casts out the fear of physical pain he's saying that perfect love casts out the fear of divine punishment it casts out servile fear


of being punished by God because somehow by having God in you you know that you're beyond that you know that you're beyond that you're one with him, you have that confidence but one can still have fear of physical pain, of persecution of the elements of the mind. Somehow no longer fears of any of that there's this capacity for consciousness Somehow, it's theoretically possible and I think that you'll find that the saints feel that way about other people but they don't feel that way about themselves. In other words, they can be totally indulgent towards other people and see the sin, why there is no sin and yet, as far as their own relationship with the Lord is they're extremely sensitive. If they're not, then somehow the whole, they become inauthentic


they become completely unconvinced that's a universal thing they never get careless in that way it's a real question of having God it's not a question of having the freedom to sin, it's a question of having the freedom to move even to do a lot of things freely, moving within God's will all the time. And Jansenism, okay? And these were both battled about, and then the Council of Trent made certain pronouncements about what's necessary for the forgiveness of sin because I think Luther's point was all that business about the fear of hell is no good, throw it out it's almost anything that you're inspired to by the fear of hell is probably itself a sin. The only thing that is worthy in the psychopath is full confession of sin when you're really sorry for your sins because of the love of God if you're only sorry for your sins because you're going to go to hell because of it he says that's not good, there's no good in that and it can't be any good. Okay, that was repeated by the Council of Trent


even what is called attrition, or imperfect contrition, or sorrow for sins out of fear is sufficient to, I don't see fear of punishment is sufficient for for instance for the death penalty to fulfill the quality of contrition, certainly not the desirable and if you preach that kind of thing it can have a lot of bad effects, but nevertheless it's sufficient according to the church something about the Catholic spirit about these things, there's a perfect if you don't insist on the perfect level for everybody, see there's a latitude between the minimum and the maximum and very often in heretical movements, that's rejected and you get a kind of rigorism, or you get a kind of laxism, but you don't have that you don't have that range between the maximum and the minimum. There have been a lot of rigorous heresies, rigorous heresies, which means that you demand the maximum you demand the perfection from everybody everybody has to be chaste in the sense of being virginal, everybody has to be this, everybody has to be that


but the Catholic spirit rules them out somehow, corrects them and leaves that leaves that range, which can leave us very uncomfortable, but actually it's much more like the way God is, or the way the gospel is so Luther's thing was one thing, and then the Jansen thing is more complex in a way. Now Jansen said something like the same thing and he was commenting, St. Augustine St. Augustine is a great writer on this business of fear and the two fears, the servile fear as he called it, the chaste fear, which comes from love. We don't have time to go into that, I didn't prepare it but Jansen has a rigorous interpretation of St. Augustine and I don't know what passages he found in Augustine to justify it, but he, like Luther, he says that attrition, that is imperfect attrition or sorrow for sins on account of fear of hell is not sufficient, and what's more, I think he says it's a sin, sorry Now the strange thing about this is


that it starts out sounding like he's discouraging the preaching of fear, and then Jansen's doctrine, Jansen's following, Jansenism turns into the religion of fear because why? Because they demand the maximum because they demand the maximum here's the paradox, if you say that it's enough to be afraid of hell in order to in order at least for the sacrament of confession, God can do the rest with his grace, okay then you leave this zone you leave a little room to move in and you can hope that your contrition will be perfected at least you've got enough for your confession but what if you say that no, it takes perfect contrition for the forgiveness of sin then you won't even go to confession will you? You probably won't go to the sacraments more than once a year or so, and there's a whole spirituality along with this of restraint with respect to approaching God so you don't approach him unless you're really ready you know, unless you're perfectly


disposed, but who is? and so it ends up being the religion of fear and so Jansenism was a really dark shadow in the history of the church and Jansenism's a heresy and it's one of those things that we still haven't fully recovered from in some way we still get waves of it Was it the same way when you directed Frequent Communion to the Latter Day Saints? Yeah. He restored for instance Frequent and Daily Communion and that was the final victory over the Jansenist chilling of the communion thing, okay? So don't you go to communion. Communion is not in other words something that heals you and feeds you it's a reward like for when you're perfect when you realize you're perfect ... I guess so. You've been with theologians? ... ... This is significant because you find out that these heresies which seem like


some kind of intellectual quibble, okay are really very deep spiritual currents they seem like they're only a couple inches deep on the surface but they're cracks that go right down to the core of the earth in a sense just like the early heresies. They seem like intellectual quibbles, you know, things as theologians but these are different ways of living these are principles which by which you move in one direction or another direction, so they're decisive and that's why the church has fought so hard to exclude them and to establish the truth. For instance the Arian thing the Arian thing wasn't just a doctrinal thing. You go in one direction or another depending on how you feel about it and the whole mystery of incarnation the sensitive core of this whole thing the relationship between God and man and how the two are made one it seems like just an isolated doctrine but it's all one thing and the quality of our Christian life depends very much on what we believe in a sense because it's all coherent at least it should be coherent. We don't realize that because thinking is over here and living is over here. In the old days it wasn't that way


it was more coherent. And people thought for the whole of themselves in a sense and what they thought affected the whole of their lives so the study of the history of doctrine and dogma of course the heresies and things like that are important for that reason and when something is called a heresy it's not just a kind of authoritarian decision on the part of the church that you fellas are out of order, you know you've been naughty or something or reciprocating or excommunicating or arbitrary. No, it's because in some way that attacks at its core the Christian heart in other words because something, a contamination has come in there which really affects the way that people live and the way they experience God which really threatens the fullness of Christian experience of Christian faith Okay, the Jansenism thing


defines God as someone really who feared more than loved okay? I mean, you don't go near him unless you're ready. He's not a merciful God he's a judgmental quite forbidding God that's true. Each one of them has some kind of reflection on that. And they can say something about our own nature too I mean, they can say that our nature is completely trapped or something like that. And I think that's in the passage I was going to read some of the definitions there just for fun we don't have much time though. These are the statements which were condemned this was by the Holy Office in 1690 You've got a whole list of errors of the Jansenists and the language is so forbidding that it just turns you off. But actually these things are pretty important if you slip into these things you can get on a seriously wrong track Everything which is not in accordance with supernatural Christian faith which works through charity is a sin Here's another one


Yeah, these are the Jansenist statements and they're all condemned Of necessity and infidel sins in every act Of necessity and infidel sins in every act okay? In other words, if you don't believe in Christ everything you do is a sin. And everything that you do makes you worse in some ways And they claim to find that in St. Augustine Because St. Augustine said at one moment that the purchase of the pagans' devices is an enthusiastic moment, I guess But it's dangerous to make statements like that Because if you can't get things together then you end up in jail Exactly Well, the final one here is that when anyone finds a doctrine clearly established in Augustine he can absolutely hold and teach it disregarding any will of the Pope And that's condemned by a will of the Pope But they also put Augustine above the Scriptures


That's the trouble when you take one theologian, no matter how great he is the Church has to condemn somebody for interpreting one of the fathers of the Church too rigorously and too narrowly I found that one of the attrition which is conceived through a fear of hell and punishment for the love of benevolence and for God and himself is not a good and supernatural motive Whoever serves God even in view of an eternal reward if he lacks charity does not flee from fault He sins even It's either charity or sin, there's nothing in between As often as he acts even in view of an eternal reward And you can't have faith unless you have love That's the other thing No faith without love So a sinner, a great sinner


if he doesn't have love he can't have faith This is kind of a sensitive and subtle thing The Church is a mother The other ones in here, the Council of Trent I don't know where we got to do this I don't know where we got to do this Okay, next time we'll go on with number 5