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the joys of rebuilding
"Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes? But now take courage." —Haggai 2:3-4
Since Vatican II, the Church in the Western world has seen the closing of parishes, high schools, seminaries, retreat centers, and other Catholic institutions. Some of these institutions the Lord wants to rebuild. For example, in 1999 Bishop Terry Steib of Memphis reopened five inner city schools. In 1998, the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska bought a hospital and converted it into a seminary. The diocese of Peoria, Illinois speaks of "re-priesting," as parishes which have had only one priest for many years are now served by two or three priests.
The Lord is calling you to be part of this rebuilding. Therefore:
- pray and fast,
- don't be discouraged by small beginnings (Hg 2:3-4; Zec 4:10),
- work (Hg 2:4),
- contribute financially (see Hg 2:7),
- love, suffer, and evangelize, and
The Lord has chosen us to live in this post-Jubilee time of grace. Love Him with all your hearts, souls, minds, and strength (Lk 10:27). The Lord promises: "The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up" (Is 58:12).
Prayer: Father, may I fix my eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2) and be full of hope.
Promise: "In this place I will give you peace, says the Lord of hosts!" —Hg 2:9
Praise: St. Lawrence's companions in martyrdom included nine priests, three laity, two religious and two virgins, all of whom had preached in the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001