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Saturday, March 9, 2002

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St. Frances of Rome

Hosea 6:1-6
Psalm 51
Luke 18:9-14

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pride ruins life

"For this reason I smote them through the prophets, I slew them by the words of My mouth." —Hosea 6:5

The Pharisee in today's Gospel reading maintained he was just, honest, and pure (see Lk 18:11). The Lord has repeatedly told us that this is His will for us. The Pharisee also fasted and tithed (Lk 18:12). These are also commandments from the Lord. If we love Him, we will obey these commandments and all the commandments (Jn 15:10; 1 Jn 5:3).

Although the Pharisee did these things which were pleasing to the Lord, the Lord was not pleased with him because the Pharisee was proud, not humble. "Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord" (Prv 16:5), for the Lord hates pride (see Prv 6:16-17; 8:13). Because the Lord loves the proud and because pride is a way to sin and hell, "God 'is stern with the arrogant but to the humble He shows kindness' " (1 Pt 5:5).

Therefore, humble yourself so that the Lord will not have to humble you (Lk 18:14). Take up the yoke of Jesus' cross and learn from Him, for He is "gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29). Humble yourself and go to Confession at least monthly. Humble yourself by forgiving, apologizing, simplifying your lifestyle, evangelizing, serving, and suffering. We either accept God's grace of humility, or we are damned. Choose to live for and to be like the humble, crucified Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, base my decision-making on Your call for me to become humble.

Promise:  "This man went home from the temple justified but the other did not." —Lk 18:14

Praise:  St. Frances deeply loved her husband and three children. She advised wives: "It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001