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Monday, August 25, 1997

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St. Louis
St. Joseph Calasanz

1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, 8-10
Psalm 149
Matthew 23:13-22

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the triple crown

"You are proving your faith, and laboring in love, and showing constancy of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." —1 Thessalonians 1:3

Life in Christ is like a marathon race or a championship fight (2 Tm 4:7). The Christian life is both a joyous celebration (see Phil 4:4) and "a great contest of suffering" (Heb 10:32). To win the victory, we must have faith, hope, and love. By faith, we can move mountains (Mt 17:20). By hope, we can persevere in even the longest marathon (1 Thes 1:3). With love, we can cover "a multitude of sins" (1 Pt 4:8). "Love never fails" (1 Cor 13:8).

If we are to persevere in the Christian life, we must grow in faith, hope, and love. "Faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of God" (Rm 10:17, our transl). "We know that affliction makes for endurance, and endurance for tested virtue, and tested virtue for hope" (Rm 5:3-4). "The fruit of the Spirit is love" (Gal 5:22). This fruit is often produced by discipline (see Heb 12:11).

Therefore, treasure God's word, afflictions, and discipline, and you will live in Christ now and forever.

Prayer:  Father, give me ever-increasing faith, hope, and love.

Promise:  "The Lord loves His people, and He adorns the lowly with victory. Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; let the high praises of God be in their throats." —Ps 149:4-6

Praise:  Louis, king of France, especially delighted in serving the blind. He wished to keep his deeds of mercy secret (Mt 6:4) and the blind were unable to recognize that he was a king.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997