In the Fear of the Lord

An important theme in the Hebrew scriptures is “fear of the Lord,” called the beginning of wisdom. This fear is not a cringing, wallowing or frightened attitude in God’s presence, but the notion of truly knowing before whom we stand, and acting accordingly. In other words, if there is no one greater than God, then our words and actions should follow from that fact. Attention to what we are doing in God’s presence, respect for God and reverence are all important factors, in praying the Divine Office, and of course for the Holy Eucharist as well. Humility and patience should also accompany this prayer, as well as abandonment to Divine Providence.

One of the best ways to express all that is by visible postures, for example the profound bows we make at the doxologies after psalms, as well as at other times in the Church’s liturgy, such as the genuflections, kneeling and prostrations, standing for the Gospel reading, etc., according to Church practice and the usages of our communities and Orders. All of this is done out of reverence and honor for the Holy Trinity, “in whom we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).