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Monday, August 10, 1998

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St. Lawrence

2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Psalm 112
John 12:24-26

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receptive or contraceptive?

"God loves a cheerful giver." —2 Corinthians 9:7

The nature of the Christian life is to follow the crucified Jesus in giving all. However, like the young rich man, we are tempted to walk away sad when presented with the opportunity to give all (Mt 19:22). Jesus is calling us to give "not sadly, not grudgingly"  (2 Cor 9:7). We are privileged to give our lives totally to the Lord. Therefore, we should give cheerfully, joyfully, and thankfully.

The Lord calls us to pour out our lives like a libation (Phil 2:17; 2 Tm 4:6) — to give everything to Him immediately (see Mt 4:19-20). We must offer our bodies to the Lord as living sacrifices (Rm 12:1). However, we will not do this if we are conformed to the world (Rm 12:2), for the world promotes a contraceptive, abortifacient culture of death. It does not want to give life because it does not want to give.

Therefore, we must save ourselves from this generation (Acts 2:40) and refuse to be "blinded by the god of the present age" (2 Cor 4:4). Then we will give as Jesus gave — totally, cheerfully, joyfully, thankfully, and immediately, even in the culture of death. We can give life by giving all.

Prayer:  Father, I accept Your grace to die to myself so I can produce much fruit (Jn 12:24).

Promise:  "The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world preserves it to life eternal." —Jn 12:25

Praise:  As he was dying a martyr's death, St. Lawrence imitated Jesus by praying for the city of Rome, whose government officials ordered his execution (see Lk 23:34).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998