Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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Fear of some impending evil based on love and reverence for the one who is feared. Actually filial fear is close to love that dreads offending the one loved. Thus the filial fear of God is compatible with the highest love of God. A person, knowing his or her moral weakness, fears that he or she might displease or betray the one who is loved. It is selfless fear. (Etym. Latin filial, becoming of a child in relation to its parents.)See Also: SERVILE FEAR