Thursday, September 03, 2009

"What manner of man ought to come to rule"

That man, therefore, ought by all means to be drawn with cords to be an example of good living who already lives spiritually, dying to all passions of the flesh; who disregards worldly prosperity; who is afraid of no adversity; who desires only inward wealth; whose intention the body, in good accord with it, thwarts not at all by its frailness, nor the spirit greatly by its disdain: one who is not led to covet the things of others, but gives freely of his own; who through the bowels of compassion is quickly moved to pardon, yet is never bent down from the fortress of rectitude by pardoning more than is meet; who perpetrates no unlawful deeds, yet deplores those perpetrated by others as though they were his own; who out of affection of heart sympathizes with another's infirmity, and so rejoices in the good of his neighbour as though it were his own advantage; who so insinuates himself as an example to others in all he does that among them he has nothing, at any rate of his own past deeds, to blush for; who studies so to live that he may be able to water even dry hearts with the streams of doctrine; who has already learned by the use and trial of prayer that he can obtain what he has requested from the Lord, having had already said to him, as it were, through the voice of experience, While you are yet speaking, I will say, Here am I (Isaiah 58:9).
Pastoral Rule, Saint Gregory the Great (ca. 540 — 12 March 604)

Today is the Feast of Pope Saint Gregory I, the Great, in the new Roman liturgical calendar. His feast day is held on March 12th in the old General Roman Calendar, as well as on the calendars of the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, where he is often called Gregory Dialogus.

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