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Another thought from St. Leo on Lent

February 24, 2012

Here is another passage from St. Leo – this one from his Tenth Sermon on Lent, as quoted by W.A. Bright:

Among all the days which Christian devotion esteems in various degrees honourable, none holds a higher place than the Easter festival, by means of which, in the Church of God, the dignity of all her solemnities receives its consecration. For it was with a view to this mystery that even our Lord’s birth from His Mother took place; nor was there any other reason for the Son of God to be born, than that He might be crucified. For in the Virgin’s womb was mortal flesh assumed ; in mortal flesh was completed the design of the Passion ; and the ineffable counsel of God’s mercy wrought this result, that we should have a sacrifice of redemption, an abolition of sin, and a beginning of resurrection to eternal life. And when we consider what the whole world has gained by our Lord’s Cross, we see the fitness of our being prepared by a forty days’ fast to celebrate Easter Day, that we may be worthy to attend the Divine mysteries. For not only the prelates, or the priests of the second order, or the ministers of the Sacraments alone, but the whole body of the Church, the whole number of the faithful, ought to be cleansed from all defilements, that the Temple of God, of which the Founder Himself is the foundation, may be beautiful in all its stones, and luminous in every part. For it is living and rational materials that are taken to rear this Temple, and are called upon by the Spirit of grace to combine by free will into one structure. And this was the cause for their being loved and sought, that they, who had not sought God, might seek Him, and they, who had not loved, might love Him, as the blessed Apostle John says, “We love Him, because He first loved us.”

–St Leo, Tenth Sermon on Lent

Regardless of our position in the visible Church, we are each called to be living stones in the edifice of the invisible Church, the Body of Christ.  May we each strive to strengthen ourselves and others in this season that His Kingdom will be strengthened and His Name glorified.

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