Friday, August 10, 2007

the Church's True Treasures

St. Lawrence was a Deacon in the Church of Rome, renowned for his fortitude under suffering and for his love of the poor. May we be more like him in every way.

From Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church

Sermon 303, for the Feast of Saint Lawrence

"Saint Lawrence was a deacon in Rome. The persecutors of the Church demanded that he hand over the Church’s treasures. In order to obtain a real treasure in heaven, he suffered torments, the account of which you can only listen to with horror: he was laid on a grill over a fire. However, he triumphed over all the physical suffering by means of extraordinary strength, which he drew from his charity and from the help of Him who made him steadfast.

For “(w)e are truly his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance.” (Eph 2:10) This made the persecutors angry… Lawrence said: “Send some chariots with me with which I can bring you the Church’s treasures.” They gave him chariots. He filled them with poor people and sent them back saying: “Here are the Church’s treasures.”

Nothing is truer, my brothers. The Christians’ great wealth is to be found in the needs of the poor, if we really understand how to make what we possess bear fruit. The poor are always with us. If we entrust our treasures to them, we will not lose them."

No comments: