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Monday, October 16, 2000

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St. Hedwig
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

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

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re-born free

"It was for liberty that Christ freed us." —Galatians 5:1

In our secular humanistic culture, many people associate freedom with doing what they want instead of what they ought. They connect freedom with lack of commitment, restrictions, or inhibitions in such mistaken expressions as "free time," "free trade," or "free love."

However, true freedom is not something we concoct but something we inherit. Freedom depends on our birth. In the culture present at the time of St. Paul, slavery was a major component of the economic and social system. It was obvious that people were either "born free" or born enslaved. Paul stated: "We are not children of a slave girl but of a mother who is free" (Gal 4:31).

Because of original sin and our fallen human nature, no one is born free. That is why to be free we must be born again from above through Baptism (Jn 3:3, 5). True freedom is based on living our baptismal promises, being confirmed in our baptismal identity, and overcoming temptations to sin and slavery by drawing on our baptismal graces. Therefore, "make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19).

Prayer:  Father, may I use holy water to renew my Baptism deeply and daily.

Promise:  "At the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here." —Lk 11:32

Praise:  St. Hedwig always strove to do God's will by raising seven children, founding hospitals, and eventually joining a convent.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 24, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 27, 2000