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 Corrêa 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.
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
"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!