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"I will love them freely." —Hosea 14:5
The Lord wants to love us freely. However, many of us are not open to the overflowing intimacy of God's love. Our sins have made us afraid of love. We are afraid to be encompassed in the consuming fire of God's love (Heb 12:29). Consequently, the Lord must heal our sinful defection (Hos 14:5) in order to freely communicate His love to us.
God, Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16), clears away our sins, the obstacles we place in the way of His love, by:
- convicting us of our sins (Jn 16:8),
- activating our guilt as a warning sign of our need to repent,
- assuring us that Jesus is "an Offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world" (1 Jn 2:2),
- commanding us through His Church and her Bible (see Hos 14:2) to repent,
- commanding us to confess our sins to Him and to others (Jas 5:16), and
- delegating the apostles' successors, the bishops, to forgive our sins in His name (Jn 20:23) through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Be baptized and immersed in repentance (Mk 1:4) this Lent so that you will plunge into the depths of God's love this Easter. Don't be afraid to let Love love you. Don't be afraid to let the crucified and risen Christ live and love in you.
Prayer: Father, love me any way You wish.
Promise: "Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." —Mk 12:30
Praise: St. Turibius, archbishop of Lima, tried to correct injustices in Peru. He was told that these injustices were the customs and the law of the land. Turibius replied: "Christ called Himself the Truth, not custom." St. Turibius, pray to deliver us from our "custom" of abortion.
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