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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22
Psalm 113
Matthew 18:15-20

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"Mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced." —Ezekiel 9:4

Just before Jerusalem was to be destroyed, the Lord sent His messenger to mark the holy ones with an X. Those marked with an X were spared destruction. Our society rates filthy movies with an X. God rates holy, sorrowful people with a cross.

Consider these abominations practiced regularly in the USA:

  • acts of adultery, fornication, oppression of the poor, stealing, dishonesty, idolatry, unjust economic gain, and oppressive interest are "abominable things" (Ez 18:11-13),
  • rampant commission of homosexual acts, always presented in Scripture as "an abomination" (Lv 18:22; 20:13),
  • the exploitation of the bodies of some women and children in omnipresent pornography in all forms of media,
  • over four thousand surgical abortions daily,
  • the inability to recognize the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman (see Catechism, 2335) and
  • many other perversions (Prv 3:32).

These commonplace American things "are an abomination to Him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil, the false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers" (Prv 6:16-19). There are many other abominable practices in our country. Do you mourn these abominations or shrug them off? Repent! Be marked by the cross. Blessed are the mourners (Mt 5:4), they shall be spared.

Prayer:  Father, I will refuse to accept the standards of this culture of death. Give me the righteous anger of Jesus (Mt 23:13) and the sorrowing, mournful heart of Mary.

Promise:  "Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in their midst." —Mt 18:20

Praise:  St. Stephen and his son, St. Emeric, are both canonized saints.

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, February 26, 2006

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