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Wednesday, September 19, 2001

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St. Januarius

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

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the key to true freedom

"I am writing you about these matters so that if I should be delayed 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 Timothy 3:14-15

Human beings cannot help but be under authority. If we are not under the authority of God, we may be under the authority of Satan — even if we think we are "doing our own thing" (as if we had an "own thing"). If we are not under the authority of God's Church, "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tm 3:15), we are under the authority of multimillionaires, celebrities, politicians, or social scientists, who are like children manipulating, controlling, and oppressing their playmates (see Lk 7:32ff). There can be no such thing as freedom from authority. There is freedom only under the authority of Christ and His Church. Any other so-called freedom is merely a thinly disguised totalitarian dictatorship.

Because the Truth sets us free (Jn 8:32) and the Church is "the pillar and bulwark of truth," the key to true freedom is submission to the authority of Jesus through the Church. The Church protects us from slavery combined with deception, especially self-deception.

Love authority in Christ. Love truth so as to love freedom. Love the Church as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25).

Prayer:  Father, give me freedom in Your authority, Your Church, and Your truth.

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

Praise:  St. Januarius and his companions had to be martyred by beheading because the planned execution of mauling by beasts was averted when the wild animals in the arena wouldn't touch them.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001