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Day 31:  One Thief Repents

Day 31: One Thief Repents

The two thieves crucified with Christ hang before us like a microcosm of Judgment Day. Enthroned on His Cross between them is the Judge, with the “sheep” at His right hand and the “goat” at His left—one on his way to eternal life, and the other to everlasting punishment.

We know little about these two men, though tradition has given the name Dismas to the “good thief” and the name “Gestas” to the other. Legend has embroidered their story with tales of an encounter between them and the Holy Family, many years before, in Egypt.

Anne Catherine’s vision displays one version of that story. But she focuses, as the Gospels do, on their final moments, when their eternal fate hangs in the balance. Dismas’ example gives to even the worst of us a reason for hope, and a motive for humility. As St. Augustine summed it up: “Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved; do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.”

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us, who are all sinners. Help us to have the humility to know that, and welcome us into Paradise alongside the good thief.

From the Visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

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