Book Access - "Fear of the Lord" Ch. 13 of "Virtue Stands in the Middle" Dr. Gustafson

Chapter 13

Dr. Christopher Gustafson, STD is a Catholic theologian in the United States. GPQ did an interview with him in January of 2022 on his upcoming book, Virtue Stands in the Middle, which you can access here. More recently, GPQ talked with Dr. Gustafson regarding the virtue of digital temperance, which is available here. Dr. Gustafson has graciously offered to share parts of his upcoming book on virtue. The work not only delves in Catholic tradition and teaching on virtue and vice, but offers access to many images of the symbolism and iconographic tradition of the Seven Lady Virtues. Below is access to chapter thirteen. 

"Definition: Fear of the Lord enables one to subject oneself completely to God’s will out of reverence for the excellence and majesty of God. By the gift of fear of the Lord, one develops a reverence for God and His commands. The word reverence is often used in place of the phrase “fear of the Lord.” This occurs because the terms fear and reverence are the same word (ירא-yara) in Hebrew. The gift of fear strengthens the virtues of both hope and temperance. At the beginning of one’s conversion, the fear of the Lord is a tremendous gift. One is often still attached to many serious sins and the fear of God’s punishment is the only inducement to avoiding these sins. One can think of someone attached to the pleasures of sexual sin or even the thrill of drugs or excessive alcohol. Habitual lying, gossip or swearing is also common. The fear of God and His punishment keeps one from engaging in these sins. As one grows in faith, one begins to avoid sin out of love for God. But in the beginning, fear can be very healthy. In Exodus we read how Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to prove you, and that the fear of him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin” (Exodus 20:20)."