We are filled with joy

In today’s psalm, we sing:

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy!

It’s quite easy for me to lose my optimism and hope, but we have an advantage: We know that God’s goodness prevails in the end!

The hard thing about this is that my choices still matter, in saving my own soul and the souls around me. Although we are confident that God and the entire cohort of heaven will defeat Satan in the end, I don’t know that I will be one of that cohort.

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Lead us not into temptation

Photo by Debbie Pan on Unsplash

When I was five years old, I went camping with my family and our cousins. We were close to a stream, so my uncle Fred placed a large stick on the bank with firm instructions not to cross it lest we fall in.

I was five, so I crossed the stick. And fell into the rushing water.

Obviously, I survived the incident, because my uncle was able to run down the valley and pull me out before I drowned.

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Defend us in battle

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

Today’s second reading conveys a powerful image:

Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.

As we near the end of our Church year, we’re looking more and more at the four final things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.

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Show unto us

Photo by Aaron Mello on Unsplash

Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me — Mark 9:37

Our Blessed Mother Mary received her child, Jesus. And she is the one who helps us to know Him and join our will with His.

The way I originally read Hail Holy Queen is that we ask Mary to do this after our death, after our “exile.” But …

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