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Friday, October 24, 1997

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St. Anthony Claret

Romans 7:18-25
Psalm 119:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94
Luke 12:54-59

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jesus or a hell of a life

"Who can free me?" —Romans 7:24

All human beings are conceived and born as prisoners of war. We are created prisoners "of the law of sin" in our members (Rm 7:23). "This means that even though" we "want to do what is right, a law that leads to wrongdoing is always ready at hand" (Rm 7:21). It is wretched to have a war going on inside us, to be prisoners in that war, to not have the power to do the good we desire to do (Rm 7:18), and to repeatedly hurt the very people we want to love. When we get to know ourselves and human nature, we cry out: "What a wretched man I am! Who can free me from this body under the power of death?" (Rm 7:24) Who can save us? How will we ever know anything but defeat, slavery, self-hatred, doom, and despair? However, there is one hope. Our only hope is Jesus, Who has taken our captivity captive (see Eph 4:8).

Let us thank Jesus constantly for saving us from captivity and slavery. If not for Jesus, we would be used and abused by the evil one. Without Jesus' freeing love, we would feel "dirty," hate ourselves, and destroy ourselves. Without Jesus, our past would be horrible, our present worse, and our future an abominable hell forever. Without Jesus, we can do nothing (Jn 15:5). With Jesus, there is hope, freedom, love, and happiness forever. "There is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rm 8:1). Give your thanks and your life to Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, I give every moment of my life in thanksgiving for Jesus.

Promise:  "I am Yours; save me, for I have sought Your precepts." —Ps 119:94

Praise:  A man attempted to kill Anthony after he converted the man's mistress. Anthony expressed his forgiveness by arranging for the death penalty to be dropped from the man's sentence.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997