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Thursday, March 9, 2000

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St. Frances of Rome

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1
Luke 9:22-25

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choosing life in a culture of death

"I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life." —Deuteronomy 30:19

For many years, the Lord has challenged us to choose life in the first Bible reading of the Mass for the second day of Lent. In retrospect, we have reason to think we should have taken the Lord's command more seriously in past Lents. Considering partial birth abortions, euthanasia, sperm and egg banks, experiments in cloning humans, artificial insemination, sterilizations, chemical and surgical abortions, rampant pornography, gang violence, more wars and rapes, starvation, more refugees, torture, more prisons, capital punishment, addictions, the debt of the third and fourth world, etc. — considering these things and many others, we had better choose life more seriously and zealously than we have in the past and in past Lents.

This Lent, our culture of death may further deteriorate to the point of no return. On the other hand, this Lent could be the beginning of a millennium of our culture's resurrection from the dead. Therefore, choose life by denying yourself (Lk 9:23). Choose life by taking up daily the cross Jesus assigns you (Lk 9:23). Choose life by losing your life for love of Jesus and the gospel (Lk 9:24). Choose life by being crucified with Christ (Gal 2:19). We must choose life as we have never before. We can't go on like this. Choose life!

Prayer:  Father, may I continually carry about in my body the dying of Jesus so that "the life of Jesus may also be revealed" (2 Cor 4:10).

Promise:  "What profit does he show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process?" —Lk 9:25

Praise:  St. Frances and her sister-in-law shared a fruitful relationship in Christ. They met regularly for prayer, to care for the sick in a local hospital, and to come to the aid of the poor.

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