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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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St. Jerome

Nehemiah 2:1-8
Psalm 137:1-6
Luke 9:57-62

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godly sadness

"The king asked me, 'Why do you look sad?' " —Nehemiah 2:2

Nehemiah was sad because the gates of Jerusalem had been in ruins for well over a century. Francis of Assisi was sad because the Church had been in ruins for hundreds of years. The sadness of both of these people led to t he rebuilding of the people of God, the Church.

The only people who will rebuild the Church are those who love the Church even when she is so disfigured, sinful, and unlovable. The only people who will rebuild the Church are those who love the Church enough to be sad about its condition. "Indeed, sorrow for God's sake produces a repentance without regrets, leading to salvation, whereas worldly sorrow brings death. Just look at the fruit of this sorrow which stems from God. What a measure of holy zeal it has brought you" (2 Cor 7:10-11). When our love for the Church becomes so deep that we are moved to sadness by the stones and dust of its ruins, then the Lord will arise and have mercy on us (Ps 102:14-15; see also Ez 9:4). "The appointed time" for rebuilding the Church has then come.

Pray for love deep enough to be sad not for yourself, but for the Church. We need the sadness of love to begin the rebuilding of the Church.

Prayer:  Father, give me a godly sadness because of a divine love.

Promise:  "Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God." —Lk 9:62

Praise:  St. Jerome inspired many with his words, "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133).

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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