Posted by: Fr Chris | February 22, 2020

Saint Leo the Great and our Springtime Season

#452 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Tome of Leo

Leo the Great is perhaps best remembered today as the Bishop of Rome who turned back the hordes of Attila the Hun. But he was much more than a successful diplomat: his famous Tome of Leo settled a major battle as to exactly Who Jesus Christ is: a Unique Person with equal divine and human natures united in the One Son of God, Son of Mary. In this essay, he calls us to awareness for conversion in all of our behavior. 

On Monday, February 24, Byzantine Catholics in much of the world begin the penitential season of Great Lent. Lent itself is from an Old English word meaning the spring season. In the northern half of the world, Lent inevitably comes during the transition from winter and its dormant plants to the burst of life of late spring.

Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy
of God, and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in
the worship of God. The heavens, the sea and all that is in
them bear witness to the omnipotence of their Creator, and
the marvelous beauty of the elements as they obey him
demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression
of its gratitude.

But with the return of that season marked out in a
special way by the mystery of our redemption, and of the
days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned
more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of
spirit.

The special note of the paschal feast is this: the
whole Church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins. It rejoices
in the forgiveness not only of those who are then reborn in
holy baptism but also of those who are already numbered
among God’s adopted children.

Initially, men are made new by the rebirth of
baptism. Yet there is still required a daily renewal to repair
the shortcomings of our mortal nature, and whatever
degree of progress has been made there is no one who
should not be more advanced. All must therefore strive to
ensure that on the day of redemption no one may be found
in the sins of his former life.

OLQM

Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at
all times should be done now with greater care and
devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles
may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but
above all by the renunciation of sin.

There is no more profitable practice as a
companion to holy and spiritual fasting than that of
almsgiving. This embraces under the single name of mercy
many excellent works of devotion, so that the good
intentions of the faithful may be of equal value, even
where their means are not. The love that we owe both God
and man is always free from any obstacle that would
prevent us from having a good intention. The angels sang:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on
earth. The person who shows love and compassion to those
in any kind of affliction is blessed, not only with the virtue
of good will, but also with the gift of peace.

The works of mercy are innumerable. Their very
variety brings this advantage to those who are true
Christians, that in the matter of almsgiving not only the
rich and affluent but also those of average means and the
poor are able to play their part. Those who are unequal in
their capacity to give can be equal in the love within their
hearts.

Math Hombre


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