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Saturday, April 16, 2005

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Acts 9:31-42
Psalm 116
John 6:60-69

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progressive fear

"The Church was at peace. It was being built up and was making steady progress in the fear of the Lord." —Acts 9:31

Do you have more fear of the Lord today than yesterday? Are you "making steady progress" this Easter time as the Lord leads you from healings to greater healings, even to resurrection? The Lord worked with Peter in this way. He worked through Peter in the hospital room as He healed "Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years" (Acts 9:33). Before long, the Lord had Peter in the funeral home ministering resurrection from the dead to Dorcas. Peter was truly making steadily accelerating progress in the fear of the Lord, in the awe of God's overwhelming presence.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the greatest progress we can make in the fear of the Lord is in believing Jesus' revelation of the Eucharist. To believe His flesh is real food and His blood real drink (Jn 6:55) is a much greater act of faith than to believe in God for a healing, or even for a resurrection. When Jesus extends us to the limits of our faith, we are tempted to leave Him (Jn 6:66). But if we let the Spirit give us life (Jn 6:63) and the Father draw us to Jesus (Jn 6:44, 65), we will say with Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe; we are convinced that You are God's Holy One" (Jn 6:68-69).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I progress in the fear of the Lord to the point that my life will be centered on daily Mass and Communion.

Promise:  "At the same time it enjoyed the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit." —Acts 9:31

Praise:  Philip spends more time arranging where he will go to daily Mass than where he will eat his next meal.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Loving the Mass on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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