the big difference
"Alas! the glory of Israel, Saul, slain upon your heights." —2 Samuel 1:19
Saul and David were similar in that they both were:
- anointed with the Spirit,
- murderous and violent, and
- serious sinners.
Saul and David were dissimilar in that David repented, while Saul did not repent. Saul became involved in the occult (1 Sm 28:8ff) and eventually committed suicide (1 Sm 31:4).
The Lord would have had mercy on Saul if only he had prayed as David did: "Have mercy me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me" (Ps 51:3-4). The Lord likewise will have mercy on us if we will only repent and cry out: "Lord, have mercy!"
Prayer: "A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from Your presence, and Your Holy Spirit take not from me. Give me back the joy of Your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me" (Ps 51:12-14).
Promise: "I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you. The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather One that makes us strong, loving, and wise." —2 Tm 1:6-7
Praise: St. Timothy loved people so selflessly that St. Paul said of him: "I have no one quite like him for genuine interest in whatever concerns you...You know from experience what Timothy's qualities are, how he was like a son at his father's side serving the gospel along with me" (Phil 2:20, 22).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001