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Thursday, August 5, 2004

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Dedication of St. Mary Major

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51
Matthew 16:13-23

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lies about love

"Jesus turned on Peter and said, " 'Get out of My sight, you satan! You are trying to make Me trip and fall. You are not judging by God's standards but by man's.' " —Matthew 16:23

By the grace of the heavenly Father, Simon Peter made a great act of faith by professing Jesus as the Messiah, "the Son of the living God!" (Mt 16:16) In a short time, however, by denying the cross and "not judging by God's standards but by man's" (Mt 16:23), Peter showed that he did not understand what he had professed. This shows the astounding proclivity of the human person to self-deception.

"More deceitful than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9, our transl) We can deceive ourselves especially about our faith, conversions to the Lord, and relationships with Him. The classical doctors of mystical theology, particularly St. John of the Cross, are preoccupied with this proclivity to spiritual self-deception.

The Lord has resolved this extremely dangerous situation by giving us a new nature at Baptism. But we must live our Baptisms by yielding to the Holy Spirit, Who will lead us into the Church, into submission to her authority, and to the foot of the cross. The Church will challenge our self-deception if we are obedient to her. The cross will purify our motives and reveal any inauthenticity in our faith. So let us live our Baptisms by the power of the Holy Spirit and thereby love the Lord in truth.

Prayer:  Father, probe my mind and test my heart (Jer 17:10).

Promise:  "I will place My law within them, and write it upon their hearts." —Jer 31:33

Praise:  Sarah was a teenager when her mother died. She asked Mary to be her mother (see Jn 19:27). She has experienced Mary's maternal presence and protection for the rest of her adult life.

Reference:  (To learn more about the Bible to love truth, we have a forty audio tape series of teachings on the New Testament. To start, order the four tapes covering Matthew, #700, 701, 702, and 703.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004