Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Romans 1:16-25

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28th Week in Ordinary Time

Although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. (Romans 1:21)

It happens every year when flu season rolls around: the endless reminders to wash your hands. Hand sanitizers begin appearing on kitchen counters, at workplace desks, and in women’s purses. And it makes sense, doesn’t it? You want to do whatever you can to prevent illness.

Well, the same is true for our spiritual lives. There are some very simple steps we can take if we want to guard against the infections of sin and temptation. In today’s reading, Paul tells us that God has filled the world with proclamations of his power. Every part of creation declares that a mighty Creator has brought it forth. He then tells us that those who chase after sin do so, not because they don’t believe in God, but because they don’t worship him. After all, his existence is hard to deny. The only question is whether we are willing to bow down to him in adoration for his goodness and majesty. And according to Paul, those who don’t worship God end up with “darkened” minds that are more vulnerable to sin (Romans 1:21).

So what do you think would happen to those who do worship and adore the Lord? Most likely, their minds would become more “enlightened,” and they would find the grace they need to resist sin and to please the Lord. You see, it’s not just that praise and worship protect us from darkness; it’s far too powerful just to keep us in a neutral state. No, worshipping the Lord opens our hearts. It helps us lower our natural defenses. It helps set us free from anxiety. All because we are lifting our hearts and minds to the One who has authority over all creation. We are coming in touch with his love and mercy, and our hearts are changing as a result.

So in your prayer today, offer words of praise, thanksgiving, and worship to the Lord. If words fail you, turn to the psalms instead. At Mass, imagine yourself joining the angels and saints as they cry out, “Holy, holy, holy!” Lift up your heart, and watch the devil flee—and all his temptations with him!

“Praise to you, Lord, my Redeemer! You are worthy of all praise and honor. You hold all things together. You are mighty and powerful. Jesus, I trust in you!”

Psalm 19:2-5
Luke 11:37-41

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