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Monday, February 17, 2020

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Founders of the Servites

James 1:1-11
Psalm 119:67-68, 71-72, 75-76
Mark 8:11-13

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living the miraculous life

"My brothers, count it pure joy when you are involved in every sort of trial." —James 1:2

For about thirty years I have taught the Lord's command to consider various trials "all joy." Today I read this in my hospital room. I haven't been allowed to eat or drink even water or ice chips for about a day. I've had an IV stuck in me for hours. And I have had four enemas. It has never been more clear to me that the command to consider trials "all joy" is truly a miracle.

This command is not a burdensome challenge to our will-power but a call to rise above ourselves and live in the supernatural dimension by utterly depending on the Lord. This grace strengthens our faith, producing perseverance which can result in our becoming "fully mature and lacking in nothing" (Jas 1:4). How privileged we are to be commanded to do things that we cannot do! How blessed we are to move from grace to grace and not just from human limitation to human limitation! May we let the Lord repeatedly do the impossible in our lives. Let us rejoice in sufferings (Col 1:24; 1 Pt 4:13), love our enemies (Lk 6:27, 35), deny our very selves (Lk 9:23), and generally do things we cannot do. Live the new, abundant, eternal life in the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, fill me with joy in living in You.

Promise:  "If any of you is without wisdom, let him ask it from the God Who gives generously and ungrudgingly to all, and it will be given him." —Jas 1:5

Praise:  In the year 1240, seven prominent men of Florence withdrew from society for a solitary life of prayer with direct service to God. Out of this came the Order of the Servites.

Reference:  (Editor's Note: Fr. Al Lauer, founder and long-time author of One Bread, One Body, passed away in October 2002 of liver cancer. In the coming weeks, we are re-publishing a series of Father's reflections from his final months of suffering.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019

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