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Tuesday, March 9, 1999

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St. Frances of Rome

Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalm 25
Matthew 18:21-35

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"Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in Your kindness and great mercy. Deliver us by Your wonders, and bring glory to Your name, O Lord." —Daniel 3:42-43

God's people were reduced "beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world" because of their sins (Dn 3:37). They had "no prince, prophet, or leader, no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense" (Dn 3:38). The leadership and worship of God's people were weak and sometimes nonexistent. We, in our times, can understand the situation described in the book of Daniel. In many ways, we see a weak Church, compromised with the world and overwhelmed by our culture of death. We have a lack of priestly and religious vocations, and our worship is often politicized, controversial, and polarizing rather than glorifying God and unifying His people.

When the Church is down and out, the Lord raises up new leaders who will not compromise their faith (see Dn 1:8ff). He gives these leaders vision and wisdom (Dn 1:17). The Lord especially gives these leaders the courage to call His people to repentance (see Dn 3:29ff), and to stand up and even die for the true faith (see Dn 3:25).

The Lord wants you to be part of the transformation of the down-and-out Church into the up-and-coming Church. He wants to make you holy, pure, free, courageous, and bold. Will you accept His call by deciding to follow Him unreservedly, put all your trust in Him (Dn 3:40), and join His Church?

Prayer:  Father, may I love the Church as Jesus does by giving my life for her (Eph 5:25).

Promise:  "My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." —Mt 18:35

Praise:  St. Frances personally served the sick and the needy of Rome for thirty years.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998