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Monday, August 11, 2008

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St. Clare

Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28
Psalm 148
Matthew 17:22-27

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fear that frees

"Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord." —Ezekiel 1:28

Are you in a rut? You know your life should be different, but you can't seem to change. When you read the Bible, you don't see the story of your life; you just see what could have been if only...

How can you be free, be yourself, and be what God created you to be? You need Moses' burning bush (see Ex 3:2), Jacob's wrestling match (see Gn 32:29), Nathan's prophecy to David (see 2 Sm 7:8), the visions of Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel (see Is 6, Jer 1, Ez 1), Peter's catch of fish (see Lk 5:6), Saul's blinding encounter with the persecuted Christ (see Acts 9:3), etc. To get out of the rut and jump-start our lives, we need to meet the Lord in such a way that we will fear Him, that is, be in awe of His presence and power.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps 111:10). It's also the beginning of freedom and of a new life in the Lord. At the beginning of the Church, "a reverent fear overtook them all, for many wonders and signs were performed by the apostles" (Acts 2:43). We received that same fear of the Lord in Baptism and Confirmation (see Is 11:2), but this gift must be stirred into flame (2 Tm 1:6). When we make "steady progress in the fear of the Lord" (Acts 9:31), we will be living the life that Jesus died on the cross for us to live.

Prayer:  Father, may I fear and love You more each day.

Promise:  "Be this His praise from all His faithful ones, from the children of Israel, the people close to Him." —Ps 148:14

Praise:  St. Clare heard St. Francis' gospel message and her life — as well as the lives of those who followed her — changed forever.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Evangelization on audio AV 58-3 or video V-58.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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