I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.Luke 12:4-5
When the human person is filled with the Spirit of God, taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), fear of evildoers can have no foothold. Death, disease, betrayal, murder, pain, suffering and every external evil that can befall human beings are nothing compared to the evil that one allows to fester within. Sin makes a Gehenna of the inner chamber of the heart.
Fear of evil cannot control one who loves.
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.1 John 4:18
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7
Fear of the Lord (reverence and awe) has the opposite effect of timidity and cowardice.
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;Proverbs 1:7
fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Christ dying on the cross, St. Stephen laying down his life as a martyr, St. Peter, St. Paul, and the countless witnesses down the centuries who followed in the footsteps of Christ demonstrate the radiant power and beauty of divine love overcoming death.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.Psalm 23:4
“Little flow’rs” in the second line of the couplet was inspired by St. Therese of Lisieux, the “Little Flower” and Doctor of the Church who taught that childlike faith in God casts out fear and even devils. God the Father overwhelms us with love and mercy, and to stay in the arms of God is to live in light, trust, and confidence.
Links to the Wisdom of St. Therese of Lisieux