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Monday, March 18, 2002

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Daniel 13:41-62
Psalm 23
John 8:1-11

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stirring tales

"The Lord heard her prayer. As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the Holy Spirit of a young boy named Daniel." —Daniel 13:44-45

Susanna was falsely accused of adultery. The community was scandalized, her family disgraced, and her husband heartbroken. Susanna was traumatized. She prayed for the Lord to save her. God answered her prayer by stirring up the Holy Spirit in "a young boy named Daniel."

Samuel was depressed. Because of King Saul's disobedience, even "the Lord regretted having made him king of Israel" (1 Sm 15:35). "Never again, as long as he lived, did Samuel see Saul" (1 Sm 15:35). Samuel knew that the king he had anointed and the nation he had transformed (see 1 Sm 7:2) were on the road to ruin. The Lord told Samuel to pray by anointing a young man named David. "From that day on, the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David" (1 Sm 16:13), and God's people became a great nation.

Mary and the whole Israelite nation were oppressed by their Roman conquerors. Their only hope was the coming of the Messiah on whom the Spirit would rest (Is 61:1). The Holy Spirit overshadowed a teenage girl named Mary, and the Messiah-God was conceived (Lk 1:35).

Timothy was sick of pastoring the church of Ephesus. The church members used Timothy's youth as an excuse to put him down (see 1 Tm 4:12). Paul prayed for the Spirit to be stirred into flame in Timothy's life (2 Tm 1:6-7), and Timothy became a great saint.

If you feel helpless and hopeless, pray for the stirring up of the Holy Spirit in you.

Prayer:  Father, give me a new Pentecost. May I live my Baptism and Confirmation to the maximum.

Promise:  "Nor do I condemn you. You may go. But from now on, avoid this sin." —Jn 8:11

Praise:  St. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, personally taught the faith to new converts. His lessons, written in the fourth century, survive today and led the Church to proclaim Cyril as a Doctor of the Church.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001