Sorry, another potential conflict?


#1

Sorry, I was wondering if anyone could help me with another difficulty I have with possible conflicting teachings.
JP II taught us to “Be Not Afraid”, a message that I really like. Go forth, be a brave Catholic, be true to God, and it’ll all be good. I like that.
However, St. Paul wrote for us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. Doesn’t that directly conflict with JP II? Why would St. Paul write that? I have an anxiety disorder and panic attacks as it is, even though I am a practicing Catholic, I don’t seem to need any more fear and trembling in my life, especially when I want to view my faith as a source of hope and comfort like I thought I was supposed to do.

So between JP II and St. Paul, who’s right and who’s wrong?Should I relax, or keep freaking out?

In more sincere Catholic confusion,
rep


#2

Does that mean that Jesus had it wrong when He said this as well? John Paul II only quoted what Jesus said. Does this then conflict with what Paul wrote? No, it doesn’t. We are called forth to witness to our Faith without fear, and indeed to be bold about it. What Paul means by working out our salvation with fear and trembling is to have a healthy respect and obedience to God. That is his point. We must work out our salvation then with obedience to God and pay tribute to His authority over us, and see that at the end of it all He is still the King of kings and Lord of lords.


#3

Luke 2:10-11 "And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Does this mean that we shall resume our fear at a later date? No, we still may “be not afraid” even today, because our Lord and Savior has been born and is risen!

This means then that your question is not whether the Church contradicts Scripture, but does Scripture contradict Scripture. The answer to that is no of course, when interpreted in the proper context.

As Milliardo said, “What Paul means by working out our salvation with fear and trembling is to have a healthy respect and obedience to God.”


#4

[quote=rep1867]Sorry, I was wondering if anyone could help me with another difficulty I have with possible conflicting teachings.
JP II taught us to “Be Not Afraid”, a message that I really like. Go forth, be a brave Catholic, be true to God, and it’ll all be good. I like that.
However, St. Paul wrote for us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. Doesn’t that directly conflict with JP II? Why would St. Paul write that? I have an anxiety disorder and panic attacks as it is, even though I am a practicing Catholic, I don’t seem to need any more fear and trembling in my life, especially when I want to view my faith as a source of hope and comfort like I thought I was supposed to do.

So between JP II and St. Paul, who’s right and who’s wrong?Should I relax, or keep freaking out?

In more sincere Catholic confusion,
rep
[/quote]

rep,

I’d like to point you towards Matthew 10:28: “And do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (These are Jesus’ words.) Most people are afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul; we are instructed (both by Jesus and His servant Pope John Paul II) not to fear them.

On the other hand, a healthy fear of God is a good thing, as you can find not only in St. Paul (as you pointed out) but also in the Old Testament wisdom literature (Proverbs 1:7, Ecclesiastes 12:13, and so on). I wouldn’t freak out over God, I just wouldn’t go out of my way to diss Him.

  • Liberian

#5

Ahh, I get it, I was interpreting St. Paul wrong. I’ve never been confused with a Catholic Bible scholar, I need to learn more! Thanks for your help everyone, you’ve cleared this up for me nicely. I’ll do my best to be not afraid, but have a healthy respect of and obedience towards God.

-rep


#6

[quote=rep1867]Sorry, I was wondering if anyone could help me with another difficulty I have with possible conflicting teachings.

Should I relax, or keep freaking out?

In more sincere Catholic confusion,
rep
[/quote]

:rotfl:

Dear rep1867,

Please pardon me for giggling, but these parts of your post just jumped out at me because I think they can summarize about the last 10 years of my life! It hit me so true that I didn’t know what to do but laugh.

Alan


#7

I, too, have high anxiety.

I read an explanation of "the fear of God."
The writer stated that it meant the awe and
reverence due to the Almighty. [Judaic source]

I say: Let those who don’t already suffer from
fear and trembling heed St. Paul. Let those
who live their *lives *in “fear and trembling”, due
to high anxiety levels, comfort their hearts with:

“Come to Me, all you who are heavily burdened
[with fear and anxiety?] and I will give you rest.”

An analogy: Suppose you run 5 miles a day,
workout 3 times a week in the gym, and are
in superb physical health. Then suppose
someone comes along and says: “Work
on your physical condition in fear and trembling…”

Well, I mean, the person doesn’t have to read
that sentence more than once to realize that
they’re in good shape. It would be well for
flabby old me to heed the admonition, but the
person in great physcial shape simply notes
that they’ve already “heeded” this statement.,
and *then *some!

In similar fashion, those already full of “fear
and trembling” can say: “Oh, yeah,” and look
for passages of comfort and support in Scripture.

Hope this makes sense,
reeen12

Or, how about the hymn lyrics:

O God our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the mighty storm [of fear and anxiety?]
And our Eternal Home.


#8

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