Tuesday, August 10, 2010

St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

"[T]he wicked persecutor’s wrath was vented on Laurentius the deacon, who was pre-eminent not only in the performance of the sacred rites, but also in the management of the church’s property, promising himself double spoil from one man’s capture: for if he forced him to surrender the sacred treasures, he would also drive him out of the pale of true religion. And so this man, so greedy of money and such a foe to the truth, arms himself with double weapon: with avarice to plunder the gold; with impiety to carry off Christ. He demands of the guileless guardian of the sanctuary that the church wealth on which his greedy mind was set should be brought to him. But the holy deacon showed him where he had them stored, by pointing to the many troops of poor saints, in the feeding and clothing of whom he had a store of riches which he could not lose, and which were the more entirely safe that the money had been spent on so holy a cause. The baffled plunderer, therefore, frets, and blazing out into hatred of a religion, which had put riches to such a use… "(Pope St. Leo the Great, Sermon 85, 2-3).

St. Lawrence witnessed with his death what he lived with his life: that boundless love for our Lord Jesus Christ which chooses the good of others above one's own good. St. Leo instructs us with the antithesis between the prefect, "so greedy of money and such a foe of the truth," and St. Lawrence, "pre-eminent in the sacred rites and in managing the Church's property," -- managed not by conserving material goods, but by transforming material goods into imperishable heavenly goods.

Last Sunday we heard the Gospel, "Where your treasure is, there is your heart." St. Lawrence makes the choice for Christ, for the Church, for virtue in serving "in the diaconia of liturgy, word, and charity." We make the same choice in thousands of little ways. How we make those choices, though they seem unimportant, shapes how we can make the Big Choice, when push comes to shove. That "Big Choice" we may have to face only once or twice in a lifetime. But if we're not practicing for it with the daily choices, we won't make it well.

May God give us the grace to grow daily in serving Him and His little ones.

1 comment:

drtom12 said...

what can I say but "ST. LAWRENCE IS THE MAN!"