The middle school youth will develop a deeper sense of awe and wonder for the Creator of the universe.
Fear is a word that we typically interpret as referring to a state of emotional distress in the face of some danger to our personal safety. The term “fear of the Lord” appears over 100 times in the Old Testament. For example:
And now, Israel, what does the Lord, your God ask of you but to fear the Lord, your God, and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12)
However, in the New Testament, the term is only mentioned two times. After the coming of Christ, the “fear of the Lord” has transformed into a sense of awe that is joyful rather than horrified. The gift of fear of the Lord gives us a greater sense of the greatness of God that should spark in our hearts a sense of amazement and awe that could bring us down to our knees. When we realize how wondrous God is, we start to grasp his overwhelming otherness, and it helps us to understand how God is so much closer to us than we are to ourselves. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
God makes himself known by recalling his all-powerful loving, and liberating action in the history of the one he addresses: “I brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” The first word contains the first commandment of the Law: “You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him. . . . You shall not go after other gods.” God’s first call and just demand is that man accept him and worship him (2084).
When we learn to “fear the Lord”, we begin to gain a deeper intimacy with Him. True worship has profound respect and awe. We should come to a point in our faith where we have a fear that is reluctant to act in ways that are contrary to the spirit of God’s will out of love, rather than out of fear. When we truly respect and are astonished by our Lord, we can love Him even more. Through a healthy, balanced faith life that is rooted in prayerful solitude we can begin to place all things in the context of God’s divine love. The gift of counsel allows us to think clearly and simply when we need to figure out where the spirit it leading us.