Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

SERVILE FEAR

Selfish fear based on dread of pain to oneself that would follow if another were offended. It is the fear of punishment for wrongdoing, without being motivated by honor or a sense of duty, and least of all by love. Theologically, however, servile fear may co-exist with filial fear. There is nothing incompatible in both loving and fearing God. The object of loving him is the divine goodness, of fearing him the divine justice. However, purely servile fear, with no love of God but only self-love that fears the divine punishments, is at least in theory, inconsistent with the true love of God.

See Also: FILIAL FEAR

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism 2 hours ago
Relax; the Pope didn't change Church teaching with a phone call 4 hours ago
Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20