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Thursday, May 20, 2004

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St. Bernardine of Siena

Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98
John 16:16-20

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unmanipulated and graced

"Many of the Corinthians, too, who heard Paul believed and were baptized." —Acts 18:8

In part of the world, the Church celebrates today the Ascension of Jesus. In other parts of the world, the Ascension is celebrated on Sunday. Either way, the Lord wants today to be a special day for you.

The Lord wants to lavish His grace and love on you, while Satan wants to rob, enslave, and manipulate you (see Jn 10:10). If you stay in God's will today and refuse to be pushed around or even budged by Satan's manipulating pressures, then you will receive what the Lord has planned for you today from even before the world was created (see Eph 1:4; 2:10). For example, the Lord had great things planned for Paul at Corinth. Paul would lead many Corinthians to the Lord, and the church in Corinth would be filled with every charism from the Lord (see 1 Cor 1:7). However, Paul came to Corinth "in weakness and fear, and with much trepidation" (1 Cor 2:3). He'd had a bad experience at Athens (see Acts 17:32-34) and realized how dangerous it was to be in Corinth because of its unchecked violence (see Acts 18:17). Paul was pressured by failure, frustration, fatigue, and fear, but he did not let himself be manipulated. Then the Lord's bountiful blessings poured out on him.

In God's will is abundant life. Don't be manipulated by anything to move out of God's will.

Prayer:  Father, may I hold my ground (see Eph 6:13).

Promise:  "I tell you truly: you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy." —Jn 16:20

Praise:  St. Bernardine was a special champion of promoting devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. In addition, his weak and hoarse preaching voice was healed in response to his frequent intercession to and devotion toward Mary.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003