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Monday, October 16, 2006

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St. Hedwig
St. Margaret Mary Alocoque

Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31—5:1
Psalm 113
Luke 11:29-32

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concentration cramp

"So stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time." —Galatians 5:1

Would a free man who once had been a prisoner of war ever voluntarily return to his former concentration camp to live? Would a slender woman who used to weigh three-hundred pounds ever freely decide to take on her former burden of poundage? "Unthinkable!" (Gal 2:17)

Yet God's people do this constantly. The Israelites escaped the slavery of Egypt, but when times got rough, they preferred to return to flogging and constant brickmaking as long as they could eat their fish, cucumbers, melons, and garlic (Nm 11:4-5). The Galatians began in the Spirit, but returned to the works of the flesh (Gal 3:3). Some of you fell in love with Jesus, but later returned to your sins, in the same disgusting way that "the dog returns to its vomit" (2 Pt 2:22).

When we take our eyes off Jesus, we fall away from our first love for Him (Rv 2:4). The world entices us with its allurements and seductions (1 Jn 2:16-17). After we've taken our eyes off of Jesus for a long enough period of time, amazingly the chains of slavery start to look good. In fact, the saint-turned-sinner actually prefers the old chains, saying, "I find the old wine better" (Lk 5:39). This is hell on earth — a preview of hell eternal — when we choose to be separated from Jesus.

Repent! Concentrate on Jesus! (Heb 3:1)

Prayer:  Jesus, save me from myself and my poor choices.

Promise:  "From the rising to the setting of the sun is the name of the Lord to be praised." —Ps 113:3

Praise:  St. Margaret Mary wrote that her greatest cross was not her own considerable sufferings but not being able to lighten the sufferings of her mother.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2006

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