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Wednesday, January 12, 2000

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St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20
Psalm 40
Mark 1:29-39

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"sleep in heavenly peace"

"Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, 'Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.' " —1 Samuel 3:9

Because the Lord "gives to His beloved in sleep" (Ps 127:2), sleep is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Therefore, the devil tries to disturb our sleep with sexual temptations, fears, or anxieties. We are also tempted to misuse sleep to escape from our responsibilities. We can let the sloth of sleep keep us from answering God's call (see 1 Sm 3:6ff) and from giving ourselves prime-time to pray (see 1 Sm 3:2; Mk 1:35). The devil is trying to "put us to sleep." However, the Lord wants us to fall "asleep believing in Him" (1 Thes 4:14) so that we can "sleep in heavenly peace."

Most of us spend almost one-third of our life in sleep. This is a significant battleground in spiritual warfare. God used Adam's sleep to create the first woman (Gn 2:21). He used Joseph's sleep to protect Jesus while He was still in Mary's womb (Mt 1:20) and while He was an Infant (Mt 2:13). The Lord wants to use our sleep to advance His kingdom. Satan has plans for our sleep as well. If we go to sleep bearing anger and resentment, we use our sleep to let Satan "work on" us (Eph 4:27) instead of God.

"Whatever you do," including sleeping, "you should do all for the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31). "Do all that" you "do," including sleeping, "for the sake of the gospel" (1 Cor 9:23). Let Jesus be Lord of your life and of your sleep.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me to sleep according to Your will.

Promise:  "Rising early the next morning, He went off to a lonely place in the desert; there He was absorbed in prayer." —Mk 1:35

Praise:  While still in her twenties, St. Marguerite suffered the loss of her husband and four of her children. She clung to her faith in Jesus, raised her two remaining sons, and then founded the Sisters of Charity of Montreal.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999