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Thursday, March 11, 2004

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Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1
Luke 16:19-31

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three heart monitors

"More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart." —Jeremiah 17:9-10

Life is a matter of the heart. If we have accepted a new heart from the Lord (Ez 36:26) and live accordingly by loving Him with all our hearts (see Lk 10:27), our lives on earth will be abundant (see Jn 10:10), free, holy, and fulfilled. Then after our deaths or Jesus' final coming, we will live forever with the Lord in the perfect love of heaven.

If, however, we let our hearts become hardened throughout our lives and stay that way, we will live lives of increasing insensitivity. We will be spiritually blind to the sin in our hearts and the poor in our midst (see Lk 16:20). Our hearts can become so hardened that we will not listen to someone raised from the dead (e.g. Jesus Himself) (see Lk 16:31). If we die in this state of hard-heartedness, we will go to a place of everlasting torment (see Lk 16:24) and be separated from God forever by a great chasm (see Lk 16:26).

Because everlasting life and death are matters of the heart, it is of great importance to know our heart condition. On the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, the catechumens of the world ask the Lord to scrutinize their hearts. Let us all pray these prayers to make sure we are living the life of the new heart.

Prayer:  Father, may I get clear readings of my heart from the prayers called the "Scrutinies."

Promise:  "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose Hope is the Lord." —Jer 17:7

Praise:  Rita learned to appreciate her role in God's plan by reading the lives of the saints.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Spiritual Blindness on audio AV 65-1 or video V-65.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003