From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jun 20 23:42:00 2021
Zeal in Amending our Lives (9)
If there were nothing else to do but praise the Lord God with all
your heart and voice, if you had never to eat, or drink, or sleep, but
could praise God always and occupy yourself solely with spiritual
pursuits, how much happier you would be than you are now, a slave to
every necessity of the body! Would that there were no such needs, but
only the spiritual refreshments of the soul which, sad to say, we
taste too seldom!
Thomas a Kempis--Imitation of Christ--Bk 1, Ch 25
June 21st – St. Leutfridus, Abbot
This was an extraordinary saint who is not well known, but an
outstanding example to our tepid epoch. He was born in the mid-7th
century near Evreux, France, of a good family, which he left to be a
priest. After many trials, he founded La Croix-Saint Qu’en Abbey [Holy
Cross Abbey], latter called Saint Leufroy Abbey in his honor. Because
of his rigor, he suffered persecutions from the lax Bishops of the
time. He had the gifts of miracles and prophecy.
He was very severe. One day a woman mocked him because he was bald. He
told her, “Why do you mock me for a defect of nature? You will be
punished for this action. It will happen that you – and all your
posterity – will have no more hair on the back of your head than I
have on the top of mine.” The curse was fulfilled to the letter.
One day he came across some peasants working on Sunday. He raised his
eyes to Heaven and said, “Let this land be sterile and never a grain
sprout here again.” From that day forward, the ground produced only
weeds and thorns.
St. Leutfridus had an ardent zeal for justice, only surpassed by his
zeal for mercy, expressed by his love for the poor. While he was abbot
of La Croix-Saint-Qu’en, a monk died and three coins were found on his
person in violation of the vow of poverty. Leutfridus ordered the monk
to be buried in profane land, not in the abbey cemetery. Afterward, he
made a 40-day fast, praying and weeping for the soul of that monk who
was apparently lost. After this penance, the Lord revealed to him that
the soul of the monk had been freed from Purgatory.
He had a terrible fury against the Devil. Once when he was in his
cell, a monk came to tell him that the Devil had taken the shape of a
monstrous animal and was in the chapel causing havoc. St. Leutfridus
hurried to the chapel, but before facing the Devil, he went to each
door and window and made the Sign of the Cross over them to close the
exits. Then he advanced, and bit the animal furiously. The Devil tried
to flee, but was prevented from leaving by the normal exits because of
the Sign of the Cross the Saint had made over them. He tried to
release himself from the animal body he had taken on, but God did not
allow him to do so. St. Leutfridus continued to exorcise and bite him,
until the monster found a way to escape through the top of the bell
tower and disappeared.
Comments of Prof. Plinio:
These splendid facts from the life of St. Leutfridus suggest several
First, the episode of the saint cursing a woman who mocked him for
being bald in a certain way replicates what happened to the Prophet
Eliseus, who ordered a bear to devour some boys who had mocked him for
the same reason, because he had no hair. It was a lack of respect for
a man of God that deserved punishment, even though today the actions
of St. Leutfridus and the Prophet Eliseus certainly clash with the
liberal mentality of many people. It is good for us to examine our
reaction in face of these two facts. We should observe how shocked we
are over these punishments to determine the degree of liberalism with
which our souls are contaminated.
Second, the incident with the peasants shows the zeal of St.
Leutfridus for the glorification of God on Sunday. It should make us
consider how seriously the commandment not to work or make money on
Sunday must be taken. In the wake of the many greater errors of
Progressivism, today we see the complete relaxation of the Third
Commandment. Who actually respects the command to rest on Sunday as we
should? I believe very few. It has become common to open stores and
shop on Sundays and to work as on any other day. Before the Council,
the ones doing these things were the enemies of the Church – the
pagans and Masons. Catholics would never open their businesses on
Sunday or shop on this day. Here we have St. Leutfridus reminding us
that to work on Sunday deserves punishment, a punishment that will
come in this life, as for those peasants, or in the next.
Third, the episode of the monk who died having some coins in his
possession demonstrates well the balance between the Saint’s justice
and mercy. On the one hand, he forbade the body of the monk to be
buried in sacred ground – again, a very anti-liberal decision. On the
other hand, he had so great a pity for the state of that poor soul
that he took it upon himself to pay for his fault, doing penance and
fasting for 40 days. It is a splendid example of the equilibrium of
the Catholic spirit. The harmonic presence of justice and mercy in the
soul of St. Leutfridus is a shining mirror of the harmony between
these two virtues that exists in the Catholic Church.
The practice of a Catholic virtue always reflects one aspect of God.
But when we have opposed virtues together - justice and mercy - such
as we see here, they reflect God more perfectly, because we understand
God in the harmony of the apparently opposed virtues, which allows us
to better understand God as a synthesis of all virtues.
Fourth, St. Leutfridus’ hatred of the Devil teaches us different
things. I have seen many people who flee the Devil moved by fear. But
I have seen fewer people who hate the Devil. This latter attitude
should be much more common than it is. Indeed, if we really love Our
Lord and Our Lady, we should normally hate their enemies.
Now then, there is no greater enemy of Our Lord than the Devil. We
should hate the Devil, therefore, with a hatred similar to that of St.
Michael the Archangel, who drew his sword against him in the first
celestial battle and drove the Devil and his cohorts from Heaven to
Hell, indignant at his revolt against God. His battle cry, Quis ut
Deus? [Who is like unto God?] expresses well his position of soul....
"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge
without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better
than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of
--Thomas á Kempis
But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience,
benignity, goodness, longanimity, Mildness, faith, modesty,
continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23) DRB
THE HAND IN THE HARVEST
What measure of love is the greatest
To separate wheat from the chaff?
The hand of God in the harvest