Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

To Become the Leaven

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Doubtless the power and characteristics of leaven are known to everyone. For although it is small in size, simple in appearance, and common in nature, it has such power within it that, when it has been concealed in flour, by its inherent energy it makes the whole mass to be what it itself is. And it so diffuses itself throughout the lump by the force of its spreading that it causes the whole mass of flour to become leaven, and thus the thing itself, by its own power, acquires for itself a mass that shares its own strength....

Rightly, then, is leaven compared to the Lord who, when He was a man in form, little in humility, and cast down in weakness, was interiorly so powerful because of His wisdom that the world itself barely grasped His teaching. And when He began to spread Himself about through the whole earth by the power of His divinity, He immediately drew the entire human race into His substance by His own strength. Thus, in pouring out the energy of His Spirit on all the saints, He made every Christian to be what Christ is. For when the Lord Jesus was a man in the world, alone and by Himself like leaven hidden in a lump of dough, He made it possible for everyone to be what He Himself was. Whoever, therefore, sticks to the leaven of Christ becomes in turn leaven as useful to himself as he is helpful to everyone else and, certain of his own salvation, he is made sure of the redemption of others.

St. Maximus of Turin
Sermon 33

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