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Wednesday, September 9, 1998

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St. Peter Claver (USA)

1 Corinthians 7:25-31
Psalm 45
Luke 6:20-26

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"Are you free of a wife? If so, do not go in search of one." —1 Corinthians 7:27

Those gifted to be single for the Lord do not commit sin if they marry (1 Cor 7:28). "But such people will have trials in this life, and these I should like to spare you" (1 Cor 7:28). All people have trials; so Paul must have been referring to unnecessary, additional trials. Moreover, it is sometimes good to undergo trials. However, Paul must not have been referring to "good" trials, or he would not have tried to spare anyone these trials. In summary, in the Scriptures the Lord indicates that those who marry but were called to be single will have unnecessary, additional trials, which it would have been better not to have undergone.

Is the Lord trying to show those who are single the way to the easiest, most comfortable life? No, He is trying to keep singles as free as possible to help them devote themselves entirely to Him (1 Cor 7:35). Some people in the body of Christ need to be available for anything at any time to further God's kingdom. They must not be tied down by unnecessary trials. The exceptional freedom and availability of those single for the Lord is not for their ease and comfort; rather, it is for the good of the body of Christ.

"The time is short" (1 Cor 7:29), and the times are stressful (1 Cor 7:26). Those of you called to the single life, the body of Christ needs your gift now more than ever. Be single for the Lord and His kingdom.

Prayer:  Father, raise up a mighty army of virgins.

Promise:  "The world as we know it is passing away." —1 Cor 7:31

Praise:  After a life of service and charity, St. Peter's last years were spent in illness, abandonment, and disgrace. Upon his death, the entire city mourned and repented of abandoning him. "Bright as the noonday shall be your vindication. Leave it to the Lord" (Ps 37:6-7).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, Who Am I In Christ?)

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