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Friday, August 16, 2019

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Joshua 24:1-13
Psalm 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24
Matthew 19:3-12

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a life without sex

"Some men are incapable of sexual activity from birth; some have been deliberately made so; and some there are who have freely renounced sex for the sake of God's reign. Let him accept this teaching who can." —Matthew 19:12

In a world which worships sex as a false god, it is almost impossible for some to comprehend that there are people called to renounce sex for the sake of God's kingdom. Because it is so difficult for our world to understand, the witness of the single life for the Lord is powerful indeed. The single life does not deny the value of marriage, but challenges us to set our hearts "on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at God's right hand" (Col 3:1).

The single life for the Lord calls us to fix our eyes on heaven where there is no marriage (Lk 20:34-35). We see our earthly existence as a stepping stone into eternity. "I am going into this with you for your own good. I have no desire to place restrictions on you, but I do want to promote what is good, what will help you to devote yourselves entirely to the Lord" (1 Cor 7:35). The single life is a promise of glory that "eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor 2:9). The single life is among the most powerful prophecies proclaimed on the earth. It comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.

Some of you reading this are called to be single for the Lord. Accept this call.

Prayer:  Father, I pray for many to accept the call to be celibate for Your kingdom.

Promise:  "I gave you a land which you had not tilled and cities which you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant." —Jos 24:13

Praise:  St. Stephen was King of Hungary and invited the Benedictines to evangelize the country. His son Emeric is also a canonized saint.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 15, 2019

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