“It causes wonder that from the very bottom of your heart, you will not abandon yourself wholly to Me, with all that you can desire and possess.” (IC 3,27,1) | “Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’ and angered me with their vain idols, I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’; with a foolish nation I will anger them.” (Dt 34:21)

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXVII: ”How Self-love Greatly Withdraws Us from the Sovereign Good” (third entry)

Christ calls the disciple to total dedication to Him — to desire and possess Him more than any thing in the world. Depending on where one’s love and affection lay, that is where his dedication will be. earthly desires make one a slave, depriving him of liberty. So why wouldn’t we abandon ourselves entirely to the one who provides true freedom?

|Today’s responsorial psalm: Dt 32:18-19, 20, 21

Today’s “psalm” is actually taken from very close to the end of the Torah (or Pentateuch — that is, the first five books of the Bible, also called the Law). Moses gives a final warning to this people he knows so well. they have been unfaithful in the past — falling back to their old ways in the the future will not go well for them with God.

|Reflection

Certainly, the Chosen People time and again were enticed by foreigners, subjects, and invaders to worship false gods. This always led to debauchery, subjugation, cries of repentance, forgiveness in a seemingly endless cycle.

We should not be so harsh with these people. We may not worship statues, but there is much in this world that can distract us or even consume us. What becomes our “god” — that which rises to a level that it becomes more important than the one true God? The Lord demands total abandonment to Him! This means that everything we think, say, or do should be for God’s greater glory. It has been said that St. Dominic only spoke to God or about God. Were that we were imbued with this Spirit! Of course, our work and other responsibilities may not be strictly in the religious realm. But do we do all things as well as possible, being morally upright, treating those we encounter as other Christs, and allowing Christ to shine through us? This is a tall order. We realize we can’t do it on our own. Fortunately, we have recourse to the One who strengthens us. Let us have frequent recourse to prayer, the Sacraments, and the Word to convert us, sustain us, and uplift us.

St Dominic accompanied by Simon de Montfort raising the crucifix against the Cathars by Daniel van den Dyck (1614-1663)

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