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Wednesday, August 21, 2002

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Pope St. Pius X

Ezekiel 34:1-11
Psalm 23
Matthew 20:1-16

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addicted to self?

"Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves!" —Ezekiel 34:2

The Lord sent Ezekiel to prophesy against the shepherds of Israel who were pasturing themselves rather than their sheep (see also Ez 34:10). In other words, Israel's leaders were self-serving rather than serving God's people. They were selfish.

Selfishness is the attitude which promotes the worst things you can do to your family, church, society, and those you love. Selfishness is an addiction. If not for God's grace, we become self-aholics, ego-maniacs, tyrannical centers of the world. Selfishness is the path to hell and, ironically, to self-destruction.

Nonetheless, we cannot help being selfish. It is automatic, natural, and destructive. We would have to have a new nature and be born again to escape the trap of selfishness. The good news is that Jesus died and rose to give us a new nature so that we can "live no longer for" ourselves "but for Him Who for (our) sakes died and was raised up" (2 Cor 5:15). Then, freed from the addiction to self, we can truly love God, ourselves, and others.

Prayer:  Father, may I unselfishly rejoice when others get more than I do (see Mt 20:11ff).

Promise:  "Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come." —Ps 23:6

Praise:  Pope St. Pius X combated selfishness by encouraging frequent Communion and by allowing that privilege to the children of the Church.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Crucified to the World on audio AV 40A-3 or video V40-A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002