Perfect love drives out fear

“Jesus, be with me each moment,
And no fear will enter my heart.”

These are words St. Faustina wrote in her diary on July 28, 1934.

1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.”

Fear has to do with punishment. If we know that God loves us, and that God loves us perfectly, we have no fear of punishment. We simply must embrace the grace of His love. Even when we sin, we have nothing to fear because we know that God is merciful. Does this give us license to sin? Of course not! Rather, it empowers us to reject sin, because sin is rooted in fear: fear of loneliness (lust), fear of rejection (wrath and envy), fear of want (avarice and gluttony), fear of pain (sloth), fear of humiliation (pride). If we know we have nothing to fear in the love of God and in the presence of Jesus with us in each moment, then there is no soil of fear in which sin may root. Freedom from fear is freedom from sin! We rely on God’s mercy, not because we are presumptuous of His promise, but because we have no fear of approaching One Who loves us perfectly.

This is why St. Augustine of Hippo could say, “Love God, then do what you will.” He understood that loving God is the desire to do His will, as well as embracing the grace that empowers us to do His will. If we love God, there is no fear of sin. It’s when we fear that we sin, as when Peter was walking toward the Lord on the water. Jesus told the disciples, “Do not be afraid.” Only when Peter looked around and became fearful of the wind did he begin to sink. Even then, though, the Lord caught him.

Be not afraid!

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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