Daily Archives: February 22, 2009

A Leonine Lent

Ok—after consulting my NPNF, I have decided on a schema for holy reading for Lent. I’ll be reading through the sermons for Lent from Leo the Great as translated in the venerable NPNF series. Rather than doing a sermon a day, I’ll be doing a section a day. I’ll be posting them—so feel free to read along…

My plan is to go through all of the sermons for Lent, then to read specific sections of his Passiontide/Holy Week sermons to fill out the rest of the time. I’m doing selections because, while they contain many gems of spiritual wisdom, Leo the Great’s sermons on Holy Week are an afront to Christian charity and partake deeply of the sin of anti-Semitism.

I’m not being overly sensitive here lest you wonder—he says some really vile things.

As a result, I’ll not be meditating on the more offensive sections as their only value towards edification is in examining the depths of our own sin and seeing how sin has entrenched itself within our ecclesial institutions.  While I do think there is value in this, enough of his anti-Semitism remains in sections that I will be present that we will have an opportunity to name it, condemn it, and—hopefully—root out similar failings on our own lives…

That having been said, Leo was termed “the Great” for a reason and is a tremendous preacher. In particular, Leo is strong on the disciplines of penitence, explaining how the three great Lenten disciplines of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer interrelate and lead us to a deeper following of Christ.

We start on Ash Wednesday.