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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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Pope St. Leo the Great


Titus 3:1-7
Psalm 23:1-6
Luke 17:11-19

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born enslaved but re-born free

"We ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, and far from true faith; we were the slaves of our passions and of pleasures of various kinds." —Titus 3:3

From the moment of our conception, we were slaves to our human desires. This was due to the original sin. "We lived at the level of the flesh, following every whim and fancy, and so by nature deserved God's wrath like the rest" (Eph 2:3). "The tendency of the flesh is toward death but that of the Spirit toward life and peace. The flesh in its tendency is at enmity with God; it is not subject to God's law. Indeed, it cannot be; those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rm 8:6-8). When we realize our wretched state of slavery, we cry out: "Who can free me from this body under the power of death?" (Rm 7:24)

Jesus is the only Answer to the human dilemma. He is our only Savior. "When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit He lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Ti 3:4-6). "The grace of God has appeared, offering salvation to all men. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age as we await our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus" (Ti 2:11-13). "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24).

Therefore, "you are not to spend what remains of your earthly life on human desires but on the will of God. Already you have devoted enough time to what the pagans enjoy" (1 Pt 4:2-3). "It was for liberty that Christ freed us" (Gal 5:1).

Prayer:  Father, may I radiate a humanly impossible freedom.

Promise:  "He threw himself on his face at the feet of Jesus and spoke His praises." —Lk 17:16

Praise:  Pope St. Leo submitted to God's authority. Then the barbarians submitted to Pope Leo's authority and spared Rome.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010

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