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All Issues > Volume 26, Issue 6

<< Thursday, November 4, 2010 >> St. Charles Borromeo
Philippians 3:3-8
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Psalm 105:2-7 Luke 15:1-10
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"There will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent." —Luke 15:7

For ninety-nine people to have no need to repent is a great miracle and therefore a cause of great joy. However, one person repenting is an even greater cause for joy because:

  1. Without our repentance the shedding of Jesus' blood on Calvary is in vain for us.
  2. Repentance is often a mega-change, a 180-degree turn, reappraising "all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of [our] Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil 3:8), stripping "off the carnal body completely" (Col 2:11).
  3. Repentance is a miracle. Sin blinds us to sin, which further blinds us to sin, etc. By this spiritual blindness and self-deception, we build up layers of sin. Except for God's miraculous intervention by His grace, there would be no way out of sin.
  4. Repentance is catalytic and contagious. As one sin has unimaginable effects, so one act of repentance has even greater effects (see Rm 5:20). For example, 120,000 Ninevites repented in one day (Jon 4:11).

Repentance is an absolutely necessary, miraculous, catalytic mega-change from death to life, rebellion to submission, and darkness to light. Because of this, one sinner repenting is a greater cause for joy than even other exceptionally great causes for joy. Repent, rejoice, and cause heaven to rejoice.

Prayer: Father, give me the sorrow for sin which turns into the joy of repentance (2 Cor 7:10).
Promise: "He invites friends and neighbors in and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' " —Lk 15:6
Praise: St. Charles founded schools for youth, a confraternity for Eucharistic adoration, seminaries, and hospitals while serving as archbishop of Milan.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2010 through November 30, 2010.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 26, Issue 6
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