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Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
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Pope Saint Leo the Great provides a helpful corrective to this destructive philosophy. In his great sermon which is read every year on Christmas in the Office of Readings, he writes: “Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh. Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom. Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.”

When we honestly reflect on our addictions, on the times when we have relapsed, and anytime we fall into sin, it is invariably because we have allowed ourselves to drift back into pride and self-love. So praise God for his patience and frequently avail yourself of the sacrament of mercy! And never forget that your Christian dignity and the health of your recovery are born of selfless, Christ-centered love!

Pope Saint Leo the Great, pray for us!


Reflection Questions

  • The first three steps in 12-step recovery intentionally address pride and self-will right from the beginning. Why is this important to your recovery?
  • How do you understand your Christian dignity in recovery today?


Daily Mass Readings

First Reading: Romans 15:14-21
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
Gospel: Luke 16:1-8

Reflection by Pete S.

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