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Monday, November 24, 2003

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Vietnamese Martyrs

Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20
Daniel 3:52-56
Luke 21:1-4

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the secret of the greatest greatness

"In any question of wisdom or prudence which the king put to them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom." —Daniel 1:20

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were "ten times better" than the best of Babylon. It is one thing to be ten times greater than the average or the good. However, it's astounding to be ten times greater than the "all-star team."

What was the secret to exceptional greatness for the four Jewish young men? They were obedient to the Jewish kosher food laws, and this was only an example of their commitment to obey the whole law. There is great power in obedience. By committing ourselves to obey God completely, we have the power to bring down the strongholds of the evil one and to make every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor 10:4-5). By obedience, we can take a penny and make it worth more than the substantial charitable contributions of millionaires (Lk 21:3-4). The power of obedience is so great that through obedience Jesus saved the human race and made it possible for all to receive a new nature (Rm 5:19).

At this time, the Church in the Western world is not very powerful. We are victimized by our culture. We haven't even been able to stop the infanticide of abortion. Many of our children have been captured by the world. Our marriages and families are in disarray. Two out of three registered American Catholics disobey the Lord and His Church weekly by not going to Sunday Mass. We disobey also in unforgiveness, prejudice, impurities, contraception, profane TV shows, etc. Repent and obey. "Turn now ten times the more to seek Him" (Bar 4:28). Then the Church and ourselves will be ten times greater, not ten times weaker.

Prayer:  Father, free me from the mediocrity of disobedience.

Promise:  "To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams." —Dn 1:17

Praise:  One of the Vietnamese Martyrs told of his joy in torture because he knew "Christ was with him."


The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, April 24, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 2003