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Thursday, March 23, 2000

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St. Turibius de Mongrovejo

Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1
Luke 16:19-31

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hell yes or hell no?

"Let him be a warning to them so that they may not end in this place of torment." —Luke 16:28

"Once there was a rich man who dressed in purple and linen and feasted splendidly every day" (Lk 16:19). The rich man in his younger days had seen poor people at his gate. He felt compassion for them, helped them a little, and even sensed God present in them on occasion. However, the rich man continued to develop his life of selfishness. Now when he saw poor people, they irritated him, and even people talking about God turned him off. He felt separated from God — Whoever God was; if He was at all.

However, the rich man would party with his brothers. He could feel comfortable with them. Like him, they were alienated from God and from people not like them. Over the years, the rich man was preoccupied more and more with himself and was aware of others less and less. His life was becoming an isolation chamber. However, he knew that as long as he had money, he could always buy "friends." So his loneliness was crowded with many people, "relationships," and activities. Sometimes the rich man would see a poor person and notice him. He even had the crazy idea of giving his whole life to God. However, he snuffed out that idea with more self-indulgence. Then the rich man became even more isolated from life. He eventually died and completed his escape from God by putting an uncrossable chasm between himself and God, life, and love. The man was in hell — forever.

Prayer:  Father, give me a heartfelt love for You and a hands-on love for the poor.

Promise:  "More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart." —Jer 17:9-10

Praise:  St. Turibius, archbishop of Lima, Peru, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to a young girl in his archdiocese who later became a canonized saint: St. Rose of Lima.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999