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Monday, October 24, 2005

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St. Anthony Mary Claret

Romans 8:12-17
Psalm 68:2, 4, 6-7, 20-21
Luke 13:10-17

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flat tire

"There was a woman there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit which drained her strength." —Luke 13:11

Many people never go anywhere for Jesus because they have a slow leak in their lives. They can't go far before their tire's flat. They pump it up; it looks all right, but soon it's flat again. Like the woman in Luke's Gospel, this can go on for eighteen years or more. Is there a slow leak in your life? Masturbation? Gossip? Unforgiveness? Resentment? Sexual fantasies? TV? Caffeine? Nicotine? Alcohol? Overeating? Sugar? Fear? Is your flesh, that is, your old nature, constantly demanding payment from you to satisfy its desires? Don't let your lifestyle destroy your life.

"We are debtors, then, my brothers — but not to the flesh, so that we should live according to the flesh. If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the evil deeds of the body, you will live" (Rm 8:12-13). "Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh" (Rm 13:14).

Just one little sin, habit, or fear (it needn't be a big one) can keep us on the sidelines and prevent God from using us. Unless we repent, we never become what God has created us to be, and life passes us by. Let us turn to Jesus, for He will release us from our shackles (Lk 13:16). Already we have wasted enough time on what the pagans enjoy (1 Pt 4:3). We "are not to spend what remains of [our] earthly life on human desires but on the will of God" (1 Pt 4:2).

Prayer:  Jesus, set me free. I am not a slave but a child of the living God.

Promise:  "You did not receive a spirit of slavery leading you back into fear, but a spirit of adoption through which we cry out, 'Abba!' (that is, 'Father')." —Rm 8:15

Praise:  St. Anthony Mary proclaimed: "The love of Christ arouses us, urges us to run, and to fly, lifted on the wings of holy zeal."

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005

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