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Saturday, July 11, 2009

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St. Benedict

Genesis 49:29-32, 50:15-26
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-7
Matthew 10:24-33

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a life of false guilt

"Now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers became fearful." —Genesis 50:15

Joseph's brothers were fearful, guilt-ridden, and steeped in self-hatred. They flung themselves before Joseph and said: "Let us be your slaves!" (Gn 50:18) After they tried to murder Joseph and finally sold him into slavery, his brothers carried their burden of sin for thirty-nine years.

Is there any sin of yours from many years ago that still upsets you? Do you have any sin for which you've received forgiveness from God but not from yourself? Have any perversions, especially past sexual sins, warped your self-image? It's not unusual to be like Joseph's brothers and spend a lifetime twisted and misshapen by guilt, even false guilt.

The way to freedom for us is to repent and go to Confession, if we haven't already done so. Next we should ask others to lay hands on us and pray over us for healing. If this does not result in total healing and freedom, we should tell our terrible sin to another trustworthy Christian (see Jas 5:16). This may seem impossible to do, but the Lord will give us the right opportunity. If this doesn't work, there's something wrong with our relationship with the Lord. We must turn our lives over to Him unreservedly. He Who is the Truth will set us free from all guilt.

Prayer:  Father, "thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me" (Ps 51:4).

Promise:  "Do not be afraid of anything." —Mt 10:31

Praise:  St. Benedict was inspired to gather hermit monks together with a lifestyle of prayer, study, and manual work.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009

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