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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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1 Kings 10:1-10
Psalm 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40
Mark 7:14-23

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heart conditions

"Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart." —Mark 7:21

Solomon asked the Lord for a wise and understanding heart (1 Kgs 3:9). The Lord answered His prayer and made Him the wisest person in history (1 Kgs 3:12). Yet, through his sins, Solomon turned his heart away from the Lord (1 Kgs 11:3). His heart was not entirely devoted to the Lord (1 Kgs 11:4). He died a fool with his kingdom on the verge of civil war. Solomon died of a spiritual heart attack.

We Christians are greater than Solomon (see Mt 11:11). Through baptism, we have received not only a wise heart, but a new heart promised by the Lord (see Ez 36:26). However, we can likewise sin and turn our hearts away from the Lord. We can lose our first love (see Rv 2:4) and no longer decide to love the Lord with all our hearts (see Mt 22:37). If we persist in this lukewarmness (Rv 3:16), we, like Solomon, will also die and damn ourselves through a spiritual heart attack. Consequently, we must repent of any sinful compromises with the ways of the world and keep our new heart beating with pure love of the Lord. We received a new heart at our baptism and will receive a renewed heart through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Repentance prevents spiritual heart attacks.

Prayer:  Father, "create in me a clean heart" (Ps 51:12, our transl.).

Promise:  "The report I heard in my country about your deeds and your wisdom is true." —1 Kgs 10:6

Praise:  "Heart of Christ, we sing Your praises!"

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Secret of Confession or our tape on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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