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Wednesday, September 17, 1997

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St. Robert Bellarmine

1 Timothy 3:14-16
Psalm 111
Luke 7:31-35

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plans for the self-made man

"Wonderful, indeed, is the mystery of our faith." —1 Timothy 3:16

God has plans for us — plans for our welfare, not for woe, plans to give us a future full of hope (Jer 29:11). The Lord plans to lead us "to springs of life-giving water" (Rv 7:17), that is, to heaven. There He "will wipe every tear" from our eyes (Rv 7:17).

However, we can ruin God's plans for us by refusing to repent (Lk 7:30) and by being selfish (Lk 7:32ff). Therefore, let us die to self before we die from self. We all are born "self-aholic." Only Jesus can set us free from the tyranny of self. "He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves" (2 Cor 5:15). Jesus commands us: "No man should seek his own interest but rather that of his neighbor" (1 Cor 10:24). "Let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others' interests rather than to his own" (Phil 2:3-4). Jesus teaches: "If anyone comes to Me without turning his back on his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters, indeed his very self, he cannot be My follower" (Lk 14:26). "He who seeks only himself brings himself to ruin, whereas he who brings himself to nought for Me discovers who he is" (Mt 10:39).

Look at a crucifix. See in it the perfect picture of dying to self. By His grace, decide to die to self. Then you will find yourself, and God's plans for your life will not be ruined but fulfilled.

Prayer:  Father, may I not be self-made but God-made.

Promise:  "You will know what kind of conduct befits a member of God's household, the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth." —1 Tm 3:15

Praise:  Although Robert was a small, unimpressive man who had to preach from the pulpit while standing on a stool, he preached with such power and authority that many converted to Catholicism.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, Living In Reality.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997