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Wednesday, February 5, 2003

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St. Agatha

Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Psalm 103
Mark 6:1-6

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a bitter pill to swallow?

"See to it that no man falls away from the grace of God; that no bitter root springs up through which many may become defiled." —Hebrews 12:15

There is bitterness, and there is something worse than bitterness, that is, a "bitter root." A bitter root springs up and produces such evils as hatred, racism, unforgiveness, resentment, deception, violence, and cruelty. Because a bitter root is so productive of things which are destructive, it defiles many (Heb 12:15). This in turn can contribute to people choosing to fall "away from the grace of God" (Heb 12:15).

Since a root of bitterness is so dangerous and potentially damning, we must avoid bitterness so that there is no chance of it ever becoming rooted. We can avoid bitterness by accepting God's grace to forgive all those who have sinned against us in any way. Even if we have contaminated ourselves with bitterness, we can stop bitterness from being rooted by letting God do the miracle of forgiveness in our lives. If we have already allowed bitterness to take root in our lives, we must forgive so that we uproot bitterness before it produces even more evil. Where there is forgiveness, bitterness cannot exist.

Therefore, forgive everyone for every wrong committed against you. Then you will immediately be free from the cancer of bitterness.

Prayer:  Father, may I avoid bitterness "like the plague."

Promise:  "Strive for peace with all men, and for that holiness without which no one can see the Lord." —Heb 12:14

Praise:  St. Agatha was said to have worn "the glow of a pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb's blood for her cosmetics."

Reference:  (For related teachings, order our booklet, The Book on Forgiveness and our leaflets, Unforgiveness is the Cause and Fourteen Questions on Forgiveness, or  our audio tapes on the leaflets, AV 41-1 or AV 106A-1, AV 106A-3, AV 106B-1, respectively.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002