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Tuesday, January 15, 2002

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1 Samuel 1:9-20
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Mark 1:21-28

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vow out

"In her bitterness she prayed to the Lord, weeping copiously, and she made a vow." —1 Samuel 1:10-11

Hannah was praying "in her bitterness" and "weeping copiously." She was miserable (1 Sm 1:11, 16), unhappy (1 Sm 1:15), troubled (1 Sm 1:15), and in "deep sorrow" (1 Sm 1:16).

In her misery, Hannah was inspired by God to make a Nazirite vow (1 Sm 1:11ff; Nm 6:2ff). Likewise, when we are in misery, the Lord often inspires us to make vows, renew our commitments, or make promises to Him. For example, when in trouble, we should first of all renew our baptismal promises. We may also be called to renew our marriage vows or religious profession. When we're in misery, we must avoid dwelling on ourselves. We must think "covenant" and "faithfulness." If we are faithful to our promises — if we are men and women of our word — we will accept God's graces and mercy by which He will lead us step by step out of our desert into the promised land.

When times are tough, make a promise and keep a promise, especially your baptismal promises.

Prayer:  Father, Your promises are precious. May my promises be faithful.

Promise:  "Jesus rebuked him sharply: 'Be quiet! Come out of the man!' At that the unclean spirit convulsed the man violently and with a loud shriek came out of him." —Mk 1:25-26

Praise:  Jesus touches the hearts of many through Fr. John, who frequently invites his congregation to make a deeper commitment to Jesus.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001