Co-Workers of the Truth 11/12

Benedict XVIThe fear of God is faith; it is something quite different from a slavish fear, from a fear of demons.  But the fear of God is also something quite different from that so-called outrage that refuses to acknowlegde the seriousness of reality.  It is typical of real courage that it does not close its eyes to the dimensions of danger but regards danger realistically.  Life is a serious matter; we must be on our guard not to reject the promise of eternal life that was made to all of us, everlasting friendship with Christ.  We must not adopt the mentality of so many believer today who believe it is enough to act more or less as the majority act and everything will turn out well.  Catechesis must return to being, not one opinion among others, but a certainty that draws on the faith of the Church, the contents of which exceed the common view.

In actuality, however, the concept of “eternal life” is scarcely mentioned in a relatively large part of modern catechesis and even then, in most cases, only in reference to the question of how to postpone its arrival or how to lessen its accompanying circumstances.  Since many Christians, moreover, have lost their eschatological sense, death is surrounded by silence, by anxiety, or by an attempt to relegate it to the ranks of the trivial.  For centuries, the Church has taught us to pray that death will not take us by surprise, that we will be given time to prepare for it; now a sudden death is looked upon as a blessing.  But not to accept and respect death is not to accept and respect itself.

From: Zur Lage des Glaubes, pp. 150-51

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