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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

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St. Cyril of Alexandria

2 Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-35, 36
Psalm 48
Matthew 7:6, 12-14

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god's narrow-minded people

"How narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it!" —Matthew 7:14

A baby enters life in this world through a narrow birth canal. It's a rough journey for the baby with tight squeezes and hard pushes. But at the end of the journey is new life. You can't ask a newborn baby how the birth journey felt, but birth mothers will testify that births are rough. Babies are birthed without clothes or personal belongings. These things would prevent the baby from squeezing safely through the narrow path to life.

Christians are birthed the same way. We are birthed through our Baptism. We live our Baptism each day with a simple lifestyle. We constantly repent of all sin, which otherwise clings to us so tightly that we may no longer be able to squeeze through the narrow gate (see Heb 12:1). We live a simple, lean lifestyle, renouncing our possessions (Lk 14:33) which hinder us from making the daily squeezes necessary to stay on the narrow road. We have no room to carry baggage such as unforgiveness, bitterness, and envy. We travel light (Mt 10:9-10), depending on God alone. We even shake the dust of rejection off, since carrying that might keep us from squeezing through the narrow gate (cf Mt 10:14). We bear much fruit, get pruned, and thus get even slimmer for the tight squeezes (Jn 15:2).

So "be on guard lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares" (Lk 21:34). Do whatever it takes to be able to fit through the narrow gate.

Prayer:  Father, may I daily live my Baptism and safely escape the lifestyle which prevents me from being born to new life.

Promise:  "Thus says the Lord...I have listened!" —2 Kgs 19:20

Praise:  St. Cyril went the narrow way by uncompromisingly holding onto the doctrine of the true nature — both human and divine — of Christ.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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