I suspect there are few people for whom a Godmother has been as significant as my Godmother has been for me. When my parents died (2009 & 2010) I reminded Kay that her role had taken on a new dimension of even greater “parental care”, and perhaps she was aware of this when in a phone conversation a couple of hours ago she quoted the first reading from today’s Mass reminding me of the dangers of fear:
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
It can seem that fear is an effective motivator. You’ll never find an army general encouraging the troops to love each other. Instead fear of punishment is used as the central motivation. I can relate to this since there were times at school when I did my homework only to avoid the punishment of caning or detention. Too often in our (even recent) history the church has also ignored the power of love and used fear in a misguided attempt to nurture faith.
The greatest motivator of all is love, the love that drives away all fear and enables us to live in perfect love.