Monday, June 15, 2009

"Do not receive the grace of God in vain."

Brothers and sisters:
As your fellow workers, we appeal to you
not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
-- 2 Cor 6:1-10

The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them "the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation." It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. It proclaims the "blessed hope" of the Lord's return, when he will come "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed."
-- CCC 1041

Someone is attacking you, not by striking on your cheek, but rather behind your back through calumny or detraction? Then "offer no resistance to one who is evil" -- do not respond by committing the same sin, by repeating the faults of your enemy or spreading untruths, for this would only be "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." No, "do not to receive the grace of God in vain". Open not your mouth but, rather, your heart and "pray for your persecutor" offering "no resistance" by "turning the other cheek". Upon this Cross is your foretaste of glorious resurrection!

(Celebrating the Pauline Year: a flame lit by Pope Benedict and kept burning at the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls by pilgrims to symbolize the faith of the Church nourished by the celebration of the Year of Saint Paul throughout the world. Photo by author.)

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