THE WICKED AND UNBELIEVERS
“The wicked flee when no man is pursuing him; but the righteous are as bold as a lion”
(Prov. 28:1) The wicked man is afraid of his own shadow; the shadow of a tree seems to him like an army. Whenever something rustles the wicked man thinks: “My enemy is coming!” He hears the murmuring of leaves as if it were the clashing of chains. He takes the voice of the birds for the cries of a hunter after a savage; he thinks the very grass is spying on his crime; water itself is a witness against him; the sun is his judge; the stars are taunting him. My brethren, how many lies are born of fear! Because fear comes from sin, sin from the devil, and the devil is the father of lies.
Fear is the first fruit of sin. When Adam sinned he hid from the face of God. Whn God called to him, he said: “I heard your voice and I was afraid” (Gen. 3:10). Adam did not know fear before he sinned, nor did he hide from the face of God but, on the contrary, always hastened to meet Him. But, as soon as he sinned he was afraid.
But the righteous are as bold as a lion, for they are without sin and without fear; without sin and without weakness. The sinless are mighty in their power and bold in their courage. The righteous are filled with vigour and fortitude. But it is only the righteous who are like this, for they obey and love the Lord.
O Lord, You who are without the blemish of sin, preserve us from empty fears, but firstly preserve us from sin, which is the father of fear. To you be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
(From Prologue #2 P-363. 364).
I took the foregoing, just as it was from the Prologue, for it is an important observation and is written perfectly explaining the reason for fear in men’s lives and how to rid ourselves of fears and replace them with happiness and joy. Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master is good and filled with kindness and deep compassion, and is quick to forgive the sins of man. T\However the Devil is a vicious tyrant who entices us with sugar-coated sins so as to trap the unwary and take them as his prisoner. Man is situated between good and evil and must choose between them throughout his life, for at the end of this life victories are awarded and defeats separate the unfaithful sinners from God and His goodness, leaving us as to be tormented with the evil one.
If we are faithful to the Lord and love Him with all our hearts and souls, fear will be non-existent in us. The stronger our faith in God the more our souls are filled with happiness and joy, but without God we become victims and prisoners, even though we may think that we are free. So we must be aware of fears, for they come from our sins, concerning which we must sincerely repent and confess them and then partake holy communion in a worthy manner but with fear of God, faith and love.
The author of Prologue uses the perfect example of fears in man in the person of Adam who hid from God. Why? Because he sinned and had broken his law. God merely called to him, and he said: “I heard your voice and was afraid.” Since the time of Adam all who sin and without God suffer from many fears, of enemies, of fearful of darkness, of fearful of sickness and especially fearful of death!
Sin is the cause of fear and if we rid ourselves of sin and in faith embrace and love Jesus Christ, every day of our lives will be void of fear, filled with joy and happiness will reign in our souls. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, however, and is a great virtue which helps us to wage war against all sins and with them confessed all fears are gone while fear of God remains.
In our times, many people receive the holy Mysteries which can place them in jeopardy if they unworthily. Because there may be some who to not understand the threat of sin within themselves, but if they cannot see their sins, they certainaly can recgonize their fears, and therefore get help if necessary to confess any sins for where there is fear there is also sin which requires our attention.