• Pride--the Beginning of All Sin

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Feb 25 23:19:48 2021
    Pride--the Beginning of All Sin

    "No other cause but pride could have been the beginning of our first
    parents' evil will? For pride is the beginning of all sin. What is
    pride but the desire of a height out of proportion to our state.

    Furthermore, it is a height out of proportion to our state to leave
    God--to whom the soul should cling as its basis--and to become and to be
    in some way our own basis."
    --St. Augustine--City of God 14, 13

    Prayer: You, Lord, are the unseen power that brings decline upon the proud. --St. Augustine--Confessions 1, 4

    February 27th - St. Leander

    St. Leander, a close friend of St. Gregory the Great, was born in
    Carthagena to a family of high nobility. He was the eldest brother of
    several saints. His brother, St. Isidore, succeeded him as Bishop of
    Seville. Another brother, St. Fulgentius, became Bishop of Carthagena,
    and his sister, St. Florentina became an Abbess in Carthagena.

    When he was still young, Leander retired to a Benedictine monastery
    where he became a model of learning and piety. In 579 he was raised to
    the episcopal see of Seville, where he continued to practice his
    customary austerities and penances.

    At that time, a part of the territory of Spain was dominated by the
    Visigoths. Those barbarians were Arians and had spread their errors in
    the cities they had conquered. The Iberian Peninsula had been infected
    by that heresy for 170 years when St. Leander was chosen Bishop of
    Seville. He began to combat it immediately. With the help of God, to
    Whom he had recourse, his efforts were successful and the heresy began
    to lose hold on its followers. He also played an important role in the conversion of Hermenegild, the eldest son of the Visigoth King.

    King Leovigild, however, became angry over his son's conversion and
    St. Leander's activity. He exiled the Saint, and condemned his son to
    death. Later, he repented, recalled the Saint to Spain and asked him
    to educate and form his other son and successor, Reccared, who became
    a Catholic and helped the Saint to convert the rest of his subjects.

    St. Leander played a central role at two councils, the Council of
    Seville and the Third Council of Toledo, where Visigothic Spain
    abjured Arianism in all its forms. He also wrote an influential Rule
    for his sister with instructions on prayer and renunciation of the
    world. He reformed the liturgy in Spain, adding the Nicene Creed to
    the Mass in order to make an express profession of the Faith against
    Arianism. Later, this practice passed to other Catholic countries. He
    died in 596.

    Comments of the late Prof. Plinio CorrĂȘa de Oliveira: (died 1995)

    This is a very rich selection that allows many comments.

    First, one's attention is caught by the extraordinary blossoming of
    saints in that period. In a family of high nobility, there were at the
    same time St. Isidore of Seville, who was one of the greatest saints
    of Spanish history, St. Fulgentius, Bishop of Carthagena, St.
    Florentina, an Abbess, and St. Leander. That is, four saints from the
    same house, coming from a single noble family of that time. You can
    see how beautiful it is that all were from the same lineage. It is a
    way God shows how a family line is useful for His plans.

    Second, the vitality of sanctity in that epoch is also remarkable.
    That puissance of sanctity did not come from this or that religious
    order, but straight from the Holy Ghost. There was no apparent
    connection between St. Gregory the Great in Italy, these saintly
    brothers and sisters in Spain, and other holy figures in Gaul, Germany, England, etc. These were Saints who often did not even know each
    other. It does not seem that they were the fruit of a particular
    movement, but rather, issued from a general and universal action of
    the Holy Ghost.

    This blossoming of saints which inaugurated the Kingdom of Our Lord
    Jesus Christ in the Middle Ages is one of the most beautiful phenomena
    in History. That such a marvelous harvest of saints took place in the
    past leads us to think that there will be another similar blooming of
    saints that will inaugurate the Reign of Mary.

    Third, St. Leander had to face a difficult problem: the heretical
    barbarians had dominated Spain for 170 years. Those barbarians were
    not pagans, as many people think. Before the barbarians invaded the
    Western Roman Empire, a reprobate bishop named Ulfilas had taught
    among the Germanic tribes in various lands and perverted them to
    Arianism. So when these tribes invaded Europe, they spread Arianism
    everywhere. This is what had happened in Spain.

    The Catholics in Spain were the descendants of the old citizens of the
    Roman Empire. They had been defeated and submitted to the Visigoths,
    who represented the new people full of energy ready to replace the old
    Romans. The Catholics were oppressed under the yoke of those Arian
    Visigoths. From a historic perspective, 170 years can appear a short
    time, but in reality it is not. It represented almost two centuries of consolidated Arian dominion in Spain.

    St. Leander was called to overthrow that dominion. How did he carry
    out his mission? In an admirable way. First of all, by praying to God
    through the mediation of Our Lady, asking for the necessary
    supernatural help, aware that without grace, no man relying on only
    his own means can be successful in his apostolate. Assisted by special
    graces, he began to preach against Arianism, and the conversions came
    in colossal numbers. The power of Arianism began to weaken.

    The King, furious over such an attack, exiled St. Leander and killed
    his own son, who became a martyr. Then the King repented, brought back
    St. Leander and asked him to educate his other son. When Reccared rose
    to the throne, he helped consolidate the work of St. Leander. It is an admirable example of collaboration between Church and State. The
    Church, by the voice of a Saint, prepared the situation; the State
    entered to fully resolve the problem with the cooperation of a
    faithful King. With this, Arianism disappeared from Spain forever.

    These are several aspects of the historic reality that we can discern
    reading the life of St. Leander of Seville, one of the greatest
    figures of Spanish history.

    Saint Quote:
    A man who has embraced poverty offers up prayer that is pure, while a
    man who loves possessions prays to material images.
    -- Saint John Climacus

    Bible Quote:
    "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did
    esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded
    for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the
    chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are
    healed." (Isa 53:4-5) DRB

    Lord, Whatever You Will
    By Blessed Rupert Mayer SJ (1876-1945)
    The Apostle of Munich

    Lord, let happen whatever You will;
    and as You will, so will I walk,
    help me only to know Your will!
    Lord, whenever You will,
    then is the time,
    today and always
    Lord, whatever You will,
    I wish to accept,
    and whatever You will for me is gain,
    enough that I belong to You.
    Lord, because You will it, it is right,
    and because You will it, I have courage.
    My heart rests safely in Your hands!

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