Volume 86, Issue 1, Winter 2012
In this essay I will contend that there is something called holy fear, which expresses love for God. First I distinguish holy fear from certain types of unholy fear and from the type of fear regulated by the virtue of courage. Next, relying on the work of Thomas Aquinas, I consider the roles love and power play in holy and unholy fear and extend his analysis of the passion of fear by analogy to the capital vices. I conclude that this extension illuminates the moral significance of John Paul
II’s call not to be afraid and shows how this theme of his pontificate is inextricably linked to another great theme of his teaching, that of love as a gift of oneself.