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Friday, October 4, 1996

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St. Francis of Assisi

Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
Psalm 139
Luke 10:13-16

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afraid of storms?

"The Lord addressed Job out of the storm." —Job 38:1

When we are in a storm, we either ask Jesus to stop the storm or get us out of it. He rarely answers the second request (at least right away) and only occasionally grants the first one. The Lord usually leaves us in an unquieted storm for quite a while, as He did with Job.

However, what the Lord does is to question us in such a way as to point out our finitude and His infinitude (see Jb 38:12ff). The Lord tries to change our attitude toward Him, ourselves, and life. With a changed attitude, storms don't seem so bad after all. We may even change from being preoccupied with storms to hardly noticing them. This attitude change is called receiving the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom about life, including storms (Ps 111:10). In the fear of the Lord, we're more concerned about our repentance than our comfort. We're more concerned about God than ourselves.

At Confirmation, the bishop or his delegate prayed for us to receive the fear of the Lord (Is 11:2-3). If God is having His way, we are "making steady progress in the fear of the Lord" (Acts 9:31). Pray that a reverent fear will soon overtake you (Acts 2:43). Live in fear — not fear of man, but the fear of the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, through the intercession of St. Francis, I ask that a "great fear" come upon the whole Church (Acts 5:11).

Promise:  "He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you, rejects Me. And he who rejects Me, rejects Him Who sent Me." —Lk 10:16

Praise:  Francis' approach to war was to pray zealously for the conversion of the enemy (in this case, the Moslems), ignore the threats on his life, and proclaim the gospel of Jesus personally to the enemy leader.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996