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Friday, October 11, 2013

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Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
Psalm 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
Luke 11:15-26

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"sound the alarm" (jl 2:1)

"The last state of the man is worse than the first." —Luke 11:26

God's people are in danger. All confirmed Catholics have heard the Good News and have been taught "the road to holiness" (2 Pt 2:21). Thus, they are in a position of great blessing: they have received much, and now much will be required of them (Lk 12:48). Because they have received rich sacramental blessings and a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit, confirmed Catholics are a threat to the devil and his kingdom of darkness.

Therefore, it is critical for confirmed Catholics, and indeed all Christians, to keep growing in faith and advancing (see Heb 6:1-6). It's far easier for Satan and his demons to hit a "couch-potato" Christian than a Christian who is a moving target, running the good race for Jesus. A Christian who won't grow in faith over time remains a baby Christian (see 1 Cor 3:1-3; Heb 5:13). It is easier for the evil one to kidnap an immature Christian, much like "taking candy from a baby."

There is a parallel in the animal kingdom. A wolfpack follows a herd of caribou in winter. The healthy caribou keep moving and stay with the other healthy ones. Because of their united strength, the wolves cannot attack them. However, the weaker or isolated caribou are easy prey for the wolves. We don't want to be "sitting ducks" for Satan, leading lives that stifle the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19). We must sound the alarm and, on this Friday, "proclaim a fast" (Jl 2:1; 1:14) for growth in faith of those who have heard the Good News but are not bearing fruit and growing in faith. They are in danger! "Sound the alarm" (Jl 2:1).

Prayer:  Father, as this Year of Faith draws to a close, I commit to grow in faith and grace each day (see 2 Pt 3:18).

Promise:  "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you." —Lk 11:20

Praise:  Father Bob requires all engaged couples in his parish to take a course in natural family planning.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013

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