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Tuesday, June 23, 1998

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2 Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-35, 36
Psalm 48
Matthew 7:6, 12-14

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the letter opener

"Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then he went up to the temple of the Lord, and spreading it out before Him, he prayed in the Lord's presence." —2 Kings 19:14-15

King Hezekiah received a letter from Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, threatening the total destruction of Judah if Hezekiah did not unconditionally surrender. Many of us have also received letters, faxes, e-mail, or memos containing devastating news. Some have received letters from attorneys in which their spouses have announced that they are suing for divorce. Many have received forms from their doctors in which the serious risks from operations and therapy are listed. Others have received "Dear John letters," notices that they have been fired from their jobs, "hate mail" from family members, indictments, subpoenas, threats, or bills. Sometimes the mail is so bad that it's a relief to receive junk mail.

When you get your "poison-pen letters," do what Hezekiah did. Take your letters "to the temple of the Lord" (2 Kgs 19:14), that is, to church. Let the eucharistic Jesus "open your mail." Don't become unforgiving and bitter. Don't be depressed or fall into despair. Don't take vengeance or give in to fear. Spread your letter and your life out before the Lord. "Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you" (1 Pt 5:7). Pray in the Lord's presence (2 Kgs 19:15). Let the Lord answer your mail. Accept Him as the Lord of your letters and your life.

Prayer:  Jesus, I trust You.

Promise:  "Enter through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to travel it. But how narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it!" —Mt 7:13-14

Praise:  When William's sister wrote him about the "New Age," he wrote her about the One Who made all things new.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997