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Friday, August 23, 2002

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St. Rose of Lima

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 107:2-9
Matthew 22:34-40

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"what the world needs now is love"

"The hand of the Lord came upon me, and He led me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me in the center of the plain, which was now filled with bones. He made me walk among them in every direction so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain." —Ezekiel 37:1-2

Pope John Paul II has called our Western culture a "culture of death." According to the prophet Ezekiel's vision, we live on a plain of dry bones. However, some people are so brainwashed or naive that they don't notice the death indicated by a few hundred thousand bones. These people are in an Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy land. Others see the carnage and chaos, but are in denial. They say they are "innocent bystanders," who have no responsibility to do anything other than their own thing. Still others are paralyzed by the immense brutality of the culture of death. They have become unforgiving, discouraged, depressed, bitter, cynical, or resentful. Finally, others look at the culture of death and fix their eyes on Jesus, the Lord of all cultures (Heb 12:2). They are in love, even in the midst of death, and this love impels them (2 Cor 5:14) to live by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). They obey the Lord and miraculously displace the culture of death with a "civilization of love" (Pope Paul VI, Dec 25, 1975).

Are you in fantasy land, denial, paralysis, or love? Love is stronger than death (see Sg 8:6). "Love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind" (Mt 22:37).

Prayer:  Father, I will abide in love and in You (1 Jn 4:16).

Promise:  "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." —Mt 22:39

Praise:  St. Rose had a special heart for doing penance as a reparation for sin. She offered her body to God as a living sacrifice (Rm 12:1).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)

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