Monday, November 10, 2008

Feast Day: St. Leo the Great

Today the Catholic Church celebrates a Pope and Saint -- a man who is just one of two given the appellation "great" (Servant of God John Paul II has been called "great" but it's not totally official yet!) -- the other being St. Pope Gregory the Great.

Anyway, St. Pope Leo the Great who reigned as Pope from 440 to 461 was a man who fought heresy, divisiveness within the Church, secular issues such as Attila the Hun at the Gates of Rome, and other issues of his day. He fought all these challenges with thoughtfulness and prayer and charity toward all. His writings have garned him a spot on the list of Doctors of the Church (only 33 Saints have been given this title -- a title given to those whose writings, prayers and speeches are judged by the Catholic Church to exhibit eminent learning, a high degree of sanctity, and proclamation by the Church).

One of the many things the St. Leo the Great wrote about was the need for understanding, mercy and charity in all relations ...
Among other aspects of human frailty belongs the fact that no boon of
well-being remains safe, since everyone ought to fear what anyone at all is
capable of falling into. All human beings, regardless of who they happen
to be, should come to terms with the fact that they have a mortal nature subject
to change -- and usually for the worse. In view of this shared condition,
let them have sympathy toward their own race.

This comment by St. Leo really struck me today, as we mark the seventh day since the election. I have been involved in such divisiveness, lack of charity and mercy toward anyone who didn't vote the way I think they should have voted.

But we're all children of God -- and ALL deserve charity.

Some of the burden of our current culture of death is on MY shoulders because I didn't persuade or pray enough for those who put economics before life because they don't know better. This is my shame. I will work harder over the next years to work toward a conversion of heart for those who don't understand the pro-life movement, a movement that asks that human rights be guaranteed from the moment of conception till the moment of natural death. I will work toward persuading those who don't understand rather than spend my time kvetching with those who believe as I believe.

St. Leo the Great, pray for us!

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