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Monday, January 16, 2006

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1 Samuel 15:16-23
Psalm 50
Mark 2:18-22

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the little way?

"Presumption is the crime of idolatry." —1 Samuel 15:23

Samuel called presumption "idolatry," possibly because in committing sins of presumption, we dethrone God as Lord and make ourselves the lord and judge of what is "right" for our lives.

Today's first eucharistic reading shows the background for sins of presumption. King Saul had just built "a trophy in his own honor" (1 Sm 15:12), though ironically he had "little" self-esteem (1 Sm 15:17). God had a great vocation for Saul (1 Sm 15:17), but sadly, God's calling meant little to Saul because he made himself king of his own life. If God's calling and vocation mean "little" to us, then we've made Him a "little" God rather than almighty. It's then just a "little" step for us to replace God as lord of our life. Sins of presumption against God and His will soon follow, since we've already presumed that we're basically as capable as God is. This presumption, however, is reprehensible (Jas 4:16) and puts our salvation in great danger (Jas 4:14-16).

When we, like Samuel, behold the Lord as great, we likewise regard as great His calling and His vocation for us. St. Therese, the Little Flower, showed us the "little way" to holiness. The little way begins with a great God, not a little one. God is great, and we gladly and humbly admit it. "With humility," we will then "have self-esteem" (Sir 10:27), because the omnipotent God is our Lord, and our lives are so important that He shed His blood to be Lord over them. Fight presumption by exalting the Lord.

Prayer:  Jesus, I will glorify You by offering praise as my sacrifice (Ps 50:23). I will obey You fully as Lord of my life.

Promise:  "To him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God." —Ps 50:23

Praise:  With true humility Lynn can speak of her God-given talents since she sees them as all gifts from Him.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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