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Tuesday, October 15, 2002

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St. Teresa of Avila

Galatians 5:1-6
Psalm 119:41, 43-45, 47-48
Luke 11:37-41

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clean up

"All will be wiped clean for you." —Luke 11:41

When was the last time you washed your hands? When did you last take a shower or a bath? Do you shampoo your hair? Do you have a dishwasher? Do you wash your clothes? Do you vacuum the rug, wash the windows, clean the table, or take out the garbage? Most of us even clean our fingernails, toenails, and teeth. Some people have full-time jobs doing cleaning or making machines that clean. Almost all of us spend significant time and money in personal and household cleanliness. If cleanliness were next to godliness, most Americans would be very godly.

Jesus wants us to be physically clean, but a higher priority should be our spiritual, interior cleanliness. Jesus said: "You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but within you are filled with rapaciousness and evil. Fools! Did not He Who made the outside make the inside too?" (Lk 11:39-40)

Going to Confession should be a higher priority than taking a bath, washing our clothes, or taking out the garbage. The prayer of our hearts should be: "A clean heart create for me, O God" (Ps 51:12). "Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me" (Ps 51:4), "Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Ps 51:9).

Prayer:  Jesus, by Your blood, cleanse my conscience from dead works (Heb 9:14).

Promise:  "Christ freed us. So stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time!" —Gal 5:1

Praise:  St. Teresa prayed: "Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for You is paid in trouble! And what a precious price to those who love You if we understand its value."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Confession, or on audio AV 44-3 or on video V-44.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, April 10, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 18, 2002