Tuesday 5 October 2010

The Fear of the Lord: an outdated notion?

The old language – of mortal sin, for example – was, he says, a misguided attempt to motivate the faithful.
"Fear is never a good motivation. The whole point of the Catholic journey is that it is a journey, and we try to hold together high ideals and understanding. That is the same for people who struggle in whatever way with their sexuality. It's an aim."

Thus +Vincent Nichols, according to Neil Tweedie.

But I seem to remember learning that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

And further, I am sure I was taught as a child that fear of punishment (I believe Hell was mentioned, so I'm really showing my age) was a sufficient motive for penitence, even though Love of God was the gold standard.

And as for the concept of mortal sin: surely if there is something I can do which is so terrible that it can put my soul at risk of eternal damnation (as the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states) then my bishops and priests should let me know?

Pray for our bishops...


gurnygob said...

Dear Ben. I have put a post up at
The Quest for the Pearl that might help you with your question.

your comments box wont let me use links but you can find my site on British catholic blogs

pattif said...

In almost the same breath, His Grace said that a life of total, self-giving love, lived in fidelity and openness to new life was a "high ideal", to which he thought "not many" had ever attained.

He really does need our prayers.

stopbeingstupid said...

He isn't actually quoted as mentioning ortal sin at all. I think he has tried to avoid offending people, and ended up having his words twisted. Sich is the fate of the word-mincer.