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Monday, October 14, 1996

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Pope St. Callistus I

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

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

If Jesus sets us free, we are really free (Jn 8:36). If, however, we take on ourselves "the yoke of slavery a second time," we are in the worst condition possible for a human being. "When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first. It would have been better for them not to have recognized the road to holiness than to have turned their backs on the holy law handed on to them, once they had known it" (2 Pt 2:20-21). If we ever give up our God-given freedom, seven demons far worse than anything we have previously experienced may enter and dwell in us. "The result is that the last state of the man is worse than the first" (Lk 11:26). The people who have done the worst things in history are often former Christians. This does not indicate that Christianity is bad but that leaving Christianity is very bad. We must get free in Jesus and stay free.

You can guard against the second slavery which leads to the second death (see Rv 2:11) and deprives you of the graces of the second birth (see Jn 3:3, 5) if you do the following:

  • Repent and go to Confession at least monthly.
  • Live a communal life (Acts 2:42) and do not absent yourself from the assembly (Heb 10:25).
  • Read and pray the Bible daily.
  • Submit to the Pope and the universal Church.

If you lose your freedom, you lose everything. Don't ever lose your freedom in Christ.

Prayer:  Father, give me lasting freedom.

Promise:  "You have a greater than Jonah here." —Lk 11:32

Praise:  As pope, Callistus displayed such extreme and unusual mercy to repentant sinners (Lk 15:22ff) that he endured bitter opposition from other leaders.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996