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Tuesday, March 13, 2001

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Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50
Matthew 23:1-12

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fasting on humble pie

"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Matthew 23:12

Especially in Lent, the Lord gives us the grace to humble ourselves. We began Lent with ashes on our foreheads in the sign of a cross. This is an expression of humility, for Jesus "humbled Himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!" (Phil 2:8)

Lent is a time of imitating Jesus as He fasted for forty days. We need humility to fast (The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II, 100), and we can grow in humility by fasting.

During Lent, we especially focus on repenting of our sins and confessing them. To admit that we are sinners and to do penance in reparation for our sins are acts of humility.

Humble people face reality. They don't deny their worth. They don't put themselves down. But humble people are down-to-earth. They see themselves as good, holy, called, loved, weak, sinful, addictive, and guilty. They humble themselves. Then God, as He has promised, exalts them. May our Lenten humility lead to Easter exaltation.

Prayer:  Father, may I choose humility daily and repeatedly. Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours (see Mt 11:29).

Promise:  "Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool." —Is 1:18

Praise:  Curt's back hurt so much that he could no longer work, and he could barely rise from his easy chair. Despite the pain, Curt and his wife responded in faith to God's call to become caretakers of a retreat center. Now, with his health significantly improved, Curt maintains a busy schedule doing much physical work so that God's people can be renewed.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000


Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000