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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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St. Catherine of Siena

Acts 16:22-34
Psalm 138
John 16:5-11

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"a future full of hope" (jer 29:11)

"About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as their fellow prisoners listened, a severe earthquake suddenly shook the place." —Acts 16:25-26

While evangelizing in Philippi, St. Paul was harassed by a girl who had a spirit of fortune-telling and made a lot of money by predicting the future. Annoyed, Paul took authority, "and said to the spirit, 'In the name of Jesus Christ I command you, come out of her!' Then and there the spirit left her" (Acts 16:18). For this, Paul and Silas were brutally flogged and thrown into prison. Their future looked bleak.

However, Paul and Silas didn't worry about what the future held in store for them. Rather, they focused on praising God in the present. They praised up an earthquake, converted their jailer and his household, and walked away in freedom (Acts 16:25-34).

Satan is still trying to tempt people to focus on the future instead of the present. He sends his evil spirits through fortune-tellers, psychics, those who read palms and tarot cards, ouija boards, and countless other mediums. (His harassment in this area is constant. In fact, as I started typing the previous sentence about evil spirits, my computer program crashed.) If we resist Satan, he will attempt to persecute and intimidate us. Yet, like Paul and Silas, praise the Lord in joyful hope and do not be intimidated (Mt 10:26).

We have a godly way to experience the future — the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In the Mass, the present is joined to the future, which is eternal life with the Lord in the glory of heaven. In the Mass, heaven and earth are filled with His glory. Attend Mass daily or desire to do so. Celebrate "a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11).

Prayer:  Lord, "I will worship at Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name" (Ps 138:2).

Promise:  "The prince of this world has been condemned." —Jn 16:11

Praise:  St. Catherine wrote: "You are Sweetness and in You there is no taste of bitterness, O Triune God!"

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007

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