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A sacrifice of praise
By Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.


We sacrifice little who offer God

Of our excess prosperity or time

As if a minimum of effort would ever suffice

To cleanse our sins or delay God’s justice

Or perhaps bribe our way into heaven’s favor

Or, worse, bend divine will to our own.


No, authentic sacrifice demands nothing less

Than a painful, almost unthinkable loss,

An offering of our deepest longing,

Our dearest possession: our truest self.


Sacrifice requires something precious die

Not for destruction but for consecration

Made holy by our willingness to let go

Not of created, much less imagined things,

When even well-intentioned promises fail

And hopes lie smoldering in still glowing embers.


Then, O then, when our votive offering joins

With that of Calvary where the true Lamb

Once for all bled and died in place of every Isaac everywhere

And we, from participation in this eternal oblation

From newly purified lips proclaim

A true sacrifice of praise.