Monday, July 30, 2012

It's not a name

Today we celebrate the 5th century bishop of Ravenna, St. Peter Chrysologus. No that is not his last name; it is a title, a nickname, if you will. Many of the early saints were known not by a family name but by a popular title. Chrysologus, literally means golden-word. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church, he was popularly known as the Doctor of Homilies. One of the distinguishing characteristics of his homilies were their relative brevity. He knew how to choose a few words but choose "golden words" that could truly move the listener.

If we think we live in turbulent times now, they are nothing compared to the world in which he lived. He served as s counselor to Pope Leo I, the first pope to be given the title "the Great" (Nicholas I and Gregory I being the only other popes called "the Great"). Pope St. Leo had to deal with Atilla the Hun, and the Council of Chalcedon.

Today let us invoke the intercession to St. Peter Chrysologus, and pray for all those who are entrusted not only with preaching in the strict sense but all those who are entrusted with handing on the faith, that he may help us to choose our words carefully, that those words may bear fruit each day.