Pope St Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church (540-604)
Happy Labor DayReadings of the DayRB: Prologue 14-20Mass: 1 Co 2:1-5; Resp Ps 119; Lk 4:16-30But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Today's offering includes related quotations for your reflection, on the theme of silence, listening, and speaking. First things first. As we celebrate Pope St Gregory the Great, I share a footnote used in a thesis written several years ago. Gregory was a busy man!
St. Gregory the Great (ca. 540-604) comes with his own impeccable credentials. Around 575 he converted his home on the Coelian Hill in Rome into a monastery and founded six other monasteries in Sicily. Gregory became a deacon to Pope Pelagius II and was then elected Pope in 590. He left voluminous writings for all the faithful—laity, monks, and clergy—including 850 letters, works on the moral life, the priesthood, homilies, and his Dialogues, the Dialogorum Libri, presented as a dialogue between Gregory and his deacon, Peter. The first three books of the Dialoguecontain stories about the lives and miracles of Italian saints. The fourth book contains teaching on the moral life. Book II is 'the best and practically only source of information about St. Benedict' (J. Aumann, Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition, pp. 74-75).
With my mind divided and torn to pieces by so many problems, how can I meditate or preach whole heartedly without neglecting the ministry of proclaiming the Gospel? Moreover, in my position I must often communicate with worldly men. At times, I let my tongue run, for if I am always severe in my judgments, the worldly will avoid me, and I can never attract them as I would. As a result I often listen patiently to chatter. And because I too am weak, I find myself drawn little by little into idle conversation, and I begin to talk freely about matters which once I would have avoided. What once I found tedious I now enjoy.(Office of Readings, from a homily on Ezekiel by Saint Gregory the Great)IF YOU WISH TO HAVE THAT TRUE LIFE THAT LASTS FOR EVER THEN KEEP YOUR TONGUE FROM EVIL; LET YOUR LIPS SPEAK NO DECEIT; TURN AWAY FROM WRONGDOING; SEEK OUT PEACE AND PURSUE IT.
(RB Prologue 17)
May the Lord give us the grace to discern when we should speak and when we should stay silent. This applies to every part of life: to work, at home, in society…. Thus we will be closer imitators of Jesus.
(Pope Francis, homily, September 3, 2018)SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, PRAY FOR US!