February 17th, 1982, Serial No. 01009

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Monastic Spirituality, Set 6 of 12




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. 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 if you know there are all sorts of bugs possibly, 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. 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 leave the 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 inclined of 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 that the abbot distributes 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 of 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 happening, hardly.


But he didn't get fainthearted. Now, to be fainthearted, 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 is, 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 charity, as St. Paul says. And then he goes on to talk about these jobs. The light's kind of dim today. Is it the fault of the electricity? I thought the whole world was reaching its end. If anybody should have a job in the monastery, if anyone should be given a commission,


let him take care to seek the answer... 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. My Greek is not good, but his is worse. And he confesses in that foreword that he was using it to learn Greek with, you know? And sometimes he totally misses the point. So, I don't know if it's that bad throughout, but in this one, you 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 for it. Fr. Francis never did that. He did Diadochus, but he never did that. I don't think so, because he's not a hesychast writer. You see, he's a Cenobite, and he's always writing about this community dimension, and the Hesychasts are not interested in that.


Is he? Okay, well... Let's get... Bartholomew, as you see, is a hermit, and a Salvatorean, so they probably got him. 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. Somebody has something to do. Before all things, let him stick to his... That shouldn't be position. Let him maintain his calm of heart. Let him maintain his state. The word is katastasis, which means... 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 and tranquility, tranquil possession. In other words, it's peace of heart, or purity of heart, according to Cassian, basically. They might use it sometimes, but it's not their main word. Their main word is hesychia. But it's very much like hesychia, okay? They're really two different manifestations of the same thing. And this is a more general term, but hesychia pertains especially to solitude and to a state where you're not involved with others, okay? And it has these other senses of external hesychia, which is a life of isolation. 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, good. 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 sentence 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 Dorotheus' position on those things. And it's not, let him not be puffed up on account of the position he holds. It's totally a misfit. Because if this happens, he will do himself up. That's not right. Neglect here means indifference. Indifference is a bad thing,


but he's saying it's more important that he maintain charity, that he maintain community, communion, and this peace of heart, which is its inner correlate, than that he get the work done. If you're concerned about any business, even if it's very... 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, because you're fully convinced that all the work you're doing... There's only one-eighth part of the thing here. 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 disposition. If, from the pressure of the work we have to do, it's 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. 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 mean, 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. You see, he can't let anybody else sort of win. And he says that's ruins. God bless my soul, what great manliness.


You see, he's talking before about this stout-heartedness, and now he's talking about this other thing, this illusory strength, or carnal strength, in a way. 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. 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, just to be careless about their work, as if that were not important. So then he comes back and does the correct thing. 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 St. Paul on Philippians 2, remember where he says encouraging, if there's any consolation in love, just honor one another, prefer one another. Also the chapter of the Lutheran Vatican gives you 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 done. Two-thirds done. This is what happens with those who are really contentious. 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. And then... Here, you've got a few. 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 in the way it's kind of translated. Now, what profit... 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 we afflict ourselves too. So there's a continuity there. You see, his argument goes right on. It doesn't zigzag the way it seems to. Or it doesn't lose its sense. So Dorotheus is a more powerful writer than one would understand by reading the translation. From the neighbour's life and from the neighbour's death.


The reference there at 22 is really Anthony 9. It's not Anthony 1. And that CS 59 reference is this here. It's on page 2. He also said, 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 Anthony is saying. 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 artist, he 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. It's just about the end of the book of Ecclesiastes. He said, this is the end of everything. And he said, that's what Dorotheus makes his discourse. Any questions or comments about that before we just review it a little bit? This whole business of the fear of God. I was thinking about the way Dorotheus used communion as covenants. And the way the bottle


of candy is a long time covenant. It doesn't stop. It's two different things. It's like they're not to be of the same meaning. The bottle of candy and the bottle of God are the source of origin of the love of God. It's the love of self actually, or love of God. The word love is just as ambiguous. 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. 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 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 is not, at first sight, it's 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. 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. But I think because it was already in that way in the Greek, remember we've got a Greek history for these words aside from the Christian meaning. So the sense of familiarity, probably also in a negative sense, was already, it must have been in the Greek culture around Christianity. So that sort of outflanked the positive Christian meaning. In the scripture obviously it's in Greek. Yes. Well it's got a positive sense in Greek too. Remember it was a confidence of a citizen.


But it probably had a negative at the same time. Keto might have, I didn't look that up to check. The theological dictionary. 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 a 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 have games. 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.


Remember that there's another word that sounds something like this, that's parousia, which is the second coming of the Lord. And my pronunciation of 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 British American Spiritual Hour. It's the fullest treatment I know of this subject through the whole of history. The Old Testament makes this claim in Christianity. 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 deeper sense, it's the sense of reverence that's 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, 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 without 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, there's transcendence into death, there's transcendence into a supernatural, a presence of God, and there's transcendence ultimately into God himself. If it's big enough to be a concern that really we can't handle it, it involves us too. Like God involves us. There's the other thing there, in this fear of God, 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. It seems to have got us so close, to be fearful of God, somebody cuts the skin and starts bleeding, fearful. That's right.


... Okay, I think there's something else in there, don't you? When you mentioned the, if you open a vein, and you see your own blood flowing, usually there's a kind of a shrinking of our nature and a kind of fear there. And you know, blood in the Old Testament, there's a lot of blood in the Old Testament. 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, their own limitation, their own finiture, 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 the situation. Whenever we see blood, it's as if that


symbol, 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. 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 shore? That kind of thing. 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. Question from audience See there's a Trinitarian pattern here. First you've got to kind of, call it a natural religion although a natural religion, I think there's been plenty of fear, 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. There's no fear of God. You can consider God to be the cosmic blessedness or whatever, the cosmic bliss or whatever. You can even feel that. But then comes something else. God speaks and all of a sudden you discover that he's not


just, he's not only this. And here, I'm not commenting directly on what you were saying because this is a whole other thing. I don't want to be seeming to limit what you were 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. Know your own nature and you are God. And it's nothing but complete freedom. 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 just from within us. That there may be a word that comes from outside of us and confronts us. And here you have the whole prophetic thing, the thing about prophetic religion. I think 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. And you have sinned. And then you go all the way back to the beginning.


Like David. 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. 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. 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. 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 of 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 animal which is stretched out ready to be sacrificed under the knife, under the sword. It's horrible. 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 the Spirit of God comes in. And 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 Spirit 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 at the end the Spirit comes in and you find that God is inside you more yourself than you were. 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. ... 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 paraseer, the bad guy. And this level is the level of that


karmic stuff, okay? Really call it the ego. And down here is another self. You can call it the center or whatever you want. ... 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? 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 of that, and it's the only thing that will


pull us back from pleasure, from self-worth, is some type of fear. That's where I was beginning to expect that. But then there's a whole new sort of level here. And this is the level of love. And also the level of truth. And if you watch this, then the word is true. The word over here. The spirit over here. So it's really a trinitarian self. And this is our true being down here, okay? ... And this is where we start. And the road down here gets really real hope somehow.


In which we let go of what we were stuck on and sort of walk across this empty space ... And as we move down here, we move from carnal love or self-love down to ... ... Which is what he gets to here at the end, more or less. ... Okay, we have to move ... That word's important, because


we're talking about a relationship with the Trinity. Yeah, it's different. 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. ... It's the cherishing of the love somehow that makes one feel ... ...


That's right. I know what you mean now. 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 catch you in salvation. Then he'll say it 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, casts out fear. He doesn't say all fear, he just says fear. So it sort of leads it to you to interpret what kind of fear he's talking about. This is John, the first letter of John chapter 4. ... 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. If in this is love perfected with us, then 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. Certainly, a certain kind of fear.


The fear of pain has been cast out entirely. It's hard for us to even talk about these things without sharing our experience. The way that they talk sometimes, they certainly weren't feeling any fear. But I think Fr. St. 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 Avalos. So you find them. The fear of physical pain or something like that can be completely, completely vanquished. The only fear in her then, at that time when she was talking, would be the fear of losing her husband. There was physical pain, she said, but there was also the absence of God, the absence of the power. There's a paradox in what she's saying there. It's like when St. 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, simply because they're talking from that union. 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 of his fear, the fear of offending God. Even though he may be experiencing being cut off from God, if it's God's will, Lord, I know that they're willing to pray with me so that they can give us that remission. Yeah. That's the way the saints are. But they're going to be extremely sensitive. They would see a kind of offense to God, or grieving God. 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 through the verses by the way, but there's a place in Isaiah where, remember, he talks about the Messiah, the one who's 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, I believe. And yet he's to be the Messiah. And so they call Jesus the one who had the perfect fear of the Lord. There shall come forth a sheep 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 a song where it's written in my, in the role of the book, I come to do your will. My delight is to do your will. Yeah, there it doesn't


seem to be fear at all, actually. It's the knowledge of God in the sense of total conformity with God's will. Total sensitivity. You can call it fear sensitivity at a certain point. Total sensitivity to God's will. It seems to me like he's having joy in all of this today. He's looking back a lot and saying there's not much. He's trying all kinds of things. 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 in some way. You know that you're one with him. You have that confidence. But one can still have fear of physical pain, but persecution is almost the same. There's a state of sense of union with God and realization of his mind that one no longer fears anything but God. 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. I see the sin. Why, there is no sin. And yet, as far as their own relationship with the Lord is concerned, they're extremely sensitive. If they're not, then somehow


the whole, they become inauthentic. 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 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 sight of God is hope for the future. ...is 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 reputed by the Council of Trent. Even what is called attrition or imperfect contrition or sorrow for sins out of fear is sufficient to ...is sufficient for, for instance, for the death of an offender to fulfill the quality of contrition. It's certainly not the desirable thing. 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. It is. It's something about the Catholic spirit, though, about these things. There's a perfect, but 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 theoretical 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


instead of being virginal. Everybody has to be this. Everybody has to be that. But the Catholic spirit rules them out somehow in their correction and 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 Janson thing is more complex in a way. Now, Janson said something like the same thing. And he was coming to St. Augustine. St. Augustine is a great writer on this business of fear. And the two fears, the servile fear and what he called the chaste fear, which comes from love. We don't have time to go into that. But Janson has a rigorous interpretation of St. Augustine. And I don't know what passages he found in Augustine to justify it. But, 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 itself. Now, the strange thing about this is that it starts out sounding like he's discouraging the preaching of fear. And then Janson's doctrine, Janson's following, Jansonism, turns into the religion of fear. Because why? Because they demand the maximum. Because they demand the maximum. Here's a paradox. If you say that it's enough to be afraid of hell in order to, in order to at least get a sacrament of confession, and God can do the rest with his grace, then you leave this zone. You leave a little room to move in. And you can hope that your attrition will be perfected later, at least you've got enough to get a confession. But what if you say that, no, it takes perfect attrition for the forgiveness of sin? Then you won't even get a confession will you? And 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. Unless you're perfectly disposed. But who is? And so it ends up being the religion of fear and sin. And so Jansonism was a really dark shadow in the history of the church. And Jansonism is 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 with the Frequent Communion? Yeah. He restored, for instance, Frequent and Daily Communion. And that was the final victory over the Jansonist chilling of the communion thing. So don't you go to communion. Communion is not, in other words, something that heals you and feeds you. It's a reward for when you're perfect. When you're really perfect. I guess so. This is significant


because you find out that these heresies, which seem like some kind of intellectual quibble, are really very deep spiritual currents. They seem like they're only a couple of 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 of theologians. But these are different ways of living. These are principles 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, you're going to have highly believable things. And the whole mystery of the Incarnation and the sensitive core of this whole thing, the relationship between God and man, how the two are made one, it seems like just an isolated doctrine, but it's all one. And the quality of our Christian life depends very much on what we believe in, 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 that the whole of themselves was a Christian, and what they thought affected the whole of their lives. So the study of the history of doctrines, of heresies and things like that is 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 fellows are out of order, you've been naughty or something, you're going to wrap on a knuckle, or we're separating, we're communicating in an arbitrary way. 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 that we experience God, which really threatens the fullness of the Christian experience, the Christian truth. Okay, the Jansenism


defines God as someone really who feared more than love, okay? I mean, he's not a merciful God, he's a judgmental God, quite forbidding God, that's true. Each one of them has some kind of reflection like that. And they can say something about our own nature too, I mean, they can say that our nature is completely sharp or something like that. And I think that's in the Jansenism. I was going to read some of the definitions there just for fun, but we don't have much time left. These are the statements which were condemned, you see, 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. In other words, if you don't believe in Christ, everything you do is a sin. And everything you do makes you worse in some ways, just an abomination. And they claim to find that in St. Augustine, you see. Because St. Augustine said at one moment that the purchase of the pagans were vices. It was an enthusiastic moment, I guess. But it's dangerous to make statements like that. Because after a while you can't get things together again, and 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've also


put Augustine above the scriptures, you see. That's the trouble, when you take one theologian, no matter how great he is, you can really get... And the Church has to condemn somebody for interpreting one of the fathers of the Church too rigorously and too narrowly. Benefit. I'll have one of those. Attrition, which is conceived through a fear of hell and punishment, with a love of benevolence and forgottenness, 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, you see, 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. Totally.


So a sinner, a great sinner, if he doesn't have love, he doesn't have faith. He's kind of a sensitive and subtle kind of person. The other ones in here, the Catholic Church, I don't know where we got to look at. If they had shared the Trinity versus the whole movement of Christ's education and responses, they would not have that. That's right. They would not separate the cake from the cake. That's the blood of education. The Church is a mother of education. She would come with us. Amen. Okay, next time we'll go on with number five. Verse five. As it was in the beginning it is now and it shall be for all the ages. Amen.