Thought for the Day – – 10 November – The Memorial of St Pope Leo the Great (c400-461) Doctor of the Church
Leo is called Great in large part because he saved the city of Rome on two separate occasions. But far more noteworthy is his work safeguarding the Roman and apostolic faith from the confusion of so many different figures. Since Christ as perfect Man reveals man to himself (concerning which Vatican II reminds us in Gaudium et Spes §22), understanding Christ’s dignity is essential for recognising our own as restored and elevated in the grace He has won for us.
Preserving and transmitting this teaching does not usually oblige us to face the barbarians at the gates. In the face of those who would obscure the truth, our call—Pope Leo’s call—is to put on what St Paul calls “the mind of Christ.” Embracing what we ourselves have received, we can be tailored to His understanding of us, rather than our conjectures about Him. There are only two choices: we can either remember Him Whose members we are in the Body of Christ, or slide into the grave danger highlighted by John Courtney Murray, SJ:
“Self-understanding is the necessary condition of a sense of self-identity and self-confidence, whether in the case of an individual or in the case of a people… Otherwise the peril is great. The complete loss of one’s identity is, with all propriety of theological definition, hell. In diminished forms it is insanity.”
As to insanity, some would say riding out to meet a barbarian without an army fits the bill. But knowing himself and the One who called him, Pope Leo could ride out to Attila, confident that the Hun’s efforts would amount to an empire built on sand, a mass of broken lives and a brief (but memorable) footnote in the textbooks….(Br Leo Camurati OP)
St Pope Leo the Great Pray for us, that we may build our houses upon the Rock of Christ and His Church!