Pope St. Leo the Great was known to be a wonderful administrator of the Church. But far from being caught up in purely administrative matters, he was also a very spiritual and prayerful man, many of whose great writings have become part of the lifeblood of our Church. He was elected to the papacy in the year 440, and his work included extensive defense of the church against the heresies of Pelagianism and Manichaeism and others; he also played the role of peacemaker, defending Rome against attacks by the Barbarians, and very significantly helped to settle a controversy in the Church of the east on the two natures – human and divine – of Christ. His work on that issue was promulgated at the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
St. Leo held that holiness consisted in doing the work we were called upon to do in our station in life, but not so much that it costs us our relationship with Christ. Prayer and spiritual growth are also required of the disciple, and holiness consists of doing both work and prayer in proper balance. Following that way, live peaceably and graciously toward all, as St. Paul calls us to do in today’s first reading, and we can trust that God will be pleased with our efforts and bless our lives.