Sermons

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

FEAST OF ST. LAWRENCE

Martyrs eminently put into practice the essence of Christ's message, love of God and love of neighbor. Their examples are more powerful than words ( Serm. 85.1). Leo tells the story of Lawrence's sufferings: ". . . that fire was less effective which burned on the outside than the one which burned within" ( Serm. 84.4); ". . . even the instruments of torture were transformed into the honor of his triumph" ( Serm. 84.4), and he went, despite the cruelty of his executioner, to the embrace of his God.


Sermon 85

10 August (446-461?)

SINCE, dearly beloved, the peak of all virtues and the fullness of complete justice is born of that love directed toward God and one's neighbor, this love stands out more sublimely and shines more clearly in the blessed martyrs than in anyone else. By the imitation of his charity and by the likeness to his suffering, they are near to our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for all. It is true that no kindness of anyone at all is able to equal that love by which the Lord redeemed us,1. because it is one thing for someone to die for the just when it will necessary to die any way, but another to die for the wicked when no debt is owed to death.

Nevertheless, the martyrs also have offered much to all people. The Lord used their courage--which he had given them-- in such a way that he wished to make the penalty of death and the torment of the cross not a source of dread to any of his own, but a pattern to be imitated by many. No good people are good only for themselves, and wisdom does not benefit only the person who has it. True virtues have this nature, that they lead

____________________
1.
Cf. Eph 5.2.

-365-

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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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