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.
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-____________________