Sermons

By Jane Patricia Freeland; Agnes Josephine Conway et al. | Go to book overview

DAYS OF FAST IN LENT

These sermons cover the years 441-445, 451-455, and perhaps also 457-458. As he had with the Collection sermons, Leo reminds his audience that the "fasts have been ordained by the holy apostles through the Holy Spirit" ( Serms. 47.1 and 50.2), and that ". . . there are none who do not need renewal" ( Serm. 43.1). Preparation for the coming Feast of the Resurrection includes the many ways in which people can repair their souls for celebrating the great miracle. "There are none so perfect and so holy that they cannot be more perfect and more holy" ( Serm. 40.1). Thorough examination of the heart's recesses ( Serm. 41.1) will not only reveal the trickeries to which we are susceptible, but will reveal also the goodness and the works of mercy that will overcome them ( Serms. 39.5, 40.5, 42.2, 43.5, 49.1, and 50.2).

In sermon 42.2, Leo inveighs against the Manichaeans who refuse to eat and drink certain things, believing them to be evil. Leo says: ". . . the good Creator has made all things good, it is our motive which brings evil" ( Serm. 42.4). He thereby clearly delineates the meaning of Christian fasting.


Sermon 39

9 February 441 (Recension A)1.

IT ONE TIME the Hebrew people and all the Israelite tribes, because of the offensiveness of their sins, were held under the heavy domination of the Philistines. In order to be able to overcome their enemies, as the sacred history shows, they restored strength of soul and body with a self-

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1.
This sermon comes down to us in two recensions. Recension A had been composed in 441. Recension B appears to represent a revision made by Leo himself at some later date. Material found in both recensions will appear in normal text. Material found only in Recension A will appear in bold. Material found only in Recension B will appear in italics. Some material found in both recensions but in a different order will be reproduced in both bold and italics in their proper order. Some material that does not coincide between the two versions of the Latin text but does not affect the English translation (such as word order or certain syntactical variants) will not be indicated.

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Sermons
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations vii
  • Select Bibliography ix
  • Introduction 1
  • His Elevation to the See of Peter 17
  • Annual Collections 34
  • Days of Fast in December 49
  • Christmas 76
  • Epiphany 132
  • Days of Fast in Lent 166
  • Lenten Sermon on the Transfiguration 218
  • Passion of the Lord 225
  • Ascension 322
  • Pentecost 330
  • Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul 352
  • Commemorating Alaric's Invasion of Rome 360
  • Martyrdom of the Maccabees 362
  • Feast of St. Lawrence 365
  • Days of Fast in September 368
  • On the Beatitudes 394
  • Against Eutyches 401
  • Indices 405
  • Index of Holy Scripture Numerical References to Leo Indicate Sermon.Section(subsection) 427
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