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Friday, October 26, 2007

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Romans 7:18-25
Psalm 119:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94
Luke 12:54-59

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freedom of speech

"What a wretched man I am! Who can free me from this body under the power of death?" —Romans 7:24

I've been tired this year. When the alarm rings in the morning, on many occasions, I stand up and say out loud, "I'm so tired." I have been trying to discipline myself to turn my thoughts immediately to Jesus and say, "You're so strong" (see Phil 4:13).

Years ago, I was trapped in sin. I'd go to bed at night and berate myself, saying out loud, "I'm so sinful." I would say the sinner's prayer over and over: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner" (see Lk 18:13). Jesus set me free from my prison of sin and graced me to live a holy life (see Lk 4:18). Now I say out loud: "Jesus, You're my Savior."

We're constantly tempted to focus on our limitations. Jesus gave us a new nature so we can instead focus on His omnipotence. Are you broke? Say not: "I'm so broke." Instead, say: "Jesus, You're my Wealth" (see Phil 3:8). Are you fearful? Say not: "I'm so afraid." Instead, say: "Jesus, You're my Helper. I will not be afraid" (see Heb 13:6). Are you overwhelmed? Say not: "I'm so swamped." Instead, say: "Jesus, You are Peace beyond all understanding. I know You'll work all things to the good" (see Phil 4:7; Eph 2:14; Rm 8:28). Are you in pain? Say not: "I can't bear this suffering." Instead, say: "Jesus, You suffered in agony for me. I trust Your love will carry me through this cross."

Let Jesus remove any vocabulary of limitation and give you free speech. Let Him fill your throat with the high praises of God (Ps 149:6) and the gift of tongues to praise Him "very well indeed" (1 Cor 14:17). May He give you "a well-trained tongue" (Is 50:4).

Prayer:  Jesus, You are Lord. I will spend my time praising You rather than speaking of my own burdens.

Promise:  "Never will I forget Your precepts." —Ps 119:93

Praise:  George returned to his childhood practice of praying short aspirations and the name "Jesus" throughout the day.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007

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