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Monday, January 19, 1998

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1 Samuel 15:16-23
Psalm 50
Mark 2:18-22

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proud of your self-hatred?

"Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night." —1 Samuel 15:16

Saul "erected a trophy in his own honor" (1 Sm 15:12), though he was little in his own esteem (1 Sm 15:17). People who are proud of themselves often hate themselves. Proud people act like gods, and of course they do a very poor imitation of God. So they hate themselves for failing. If they don't repent, they lie to themselves and others about failing. Then they hate themselves for being phonies. Proud people try to compensate for their failures by doing more of their own thing, disobeying the Lord, and thereby failing some more. This makes them bigger failures and probably bigger phonies. If they don't repent, proud people come to hate themselves so much that they consider suicide and may even commit suicide, as Saul eventually did (1 Sm 31:4). The wages of pride are escalating disobediences, failures, self-hatred, and self- deceptions. The wages of sin is death — self-imposed death.

Therefore, let us repent of pride and humble ourselves (Mt 23:12). We must come to Jesus and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble of heart (Mt 11:29).

Prayer:  Father, I choose to take "the lowest place" (Lk 14:10).

Promise:  "No man pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does so, the wine will burst the skins and both wine and skins will be lost. No, new wine is poured into new skins." —Mk 2:22

Praise:  Louisa, who had not read Scripture, browsed the book of Revelation out of curiosity. When she read Revelation 3:14-16, the Holy Spirit touched her heart. She received the grace of conversion, fell to her knees, and gave her life to Jesus. She returned to Mass after an absence of many years. She now leads a prayer group and an evangelization ministry.

Reference:  (Lent is approaching. To prepare to renew our baptism, in imitation of Jesus, order our leaflets, Lent and the Renewal of Our Baptismal Promises, A Prophetic Lent, and our book, Scriptural Stations of the Cross.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997