Sometimes we create ivory towers for ourselves. When it comes to our areas of expertise we lose the ability to communicate effectively with those outside of our field. We become inarticulate or dismissive, maybe even prideful.
Lawrence was a brilliant scholar and yet compassionate and concerned for those around him. A Doctor of the Church, papal envoy, and head of his order just to mention a few things.
Despite his learning and lofty titles, Lawrence seems to have had the ability to remember why he did what he did: Jesus. My First Theology professor started our first seminar with the statement that theology, out of the context of the love of God and the death and resurrection of Jesus, was meaningless. It profits one nothing "to gain the whole world and forfeit his life." (Matthew 16:26)
Lawrence understood and lived this truth. Lawrence pray for us in our dealings with others, especially those whom we guide and teach.
There is a spiritual life that we share with the angels of heaven and with the divine spirits, for like them we have been formed in the image and likeness of God. The bread that is necessary for living this life is the grace of the Holy Spirit and the love of God. But grace and love are nothing without faith, since without faith it is impossible to please God. And faith is not conceived unless the word of God is preached. Faith comes through hearing, and what is heard is the word of Christ. The preaching of the word of God, then, is necessary for the spiritual life, just as the planting of seed is necessary for bodily life. ...Preaching therefore, is a duty that is apostolic, angelic, Christian, divine. The word of God is replete with manifold blessings, since it is, so to speak, a treasure of all goods. It is the source of faith, hope, charity, all virtues, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all the beatitudes of the Gospel, all good works, all the rewards of life, all the glory of paradise: Welcome the word that has taken root in you, with its power to save you.
For the word of God is a light to the mind and a fire to the will. It enables man to know God and to love him. And for the interior man who lives by the Spirit of God, through grace, it is bread and water, but a bread sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, a water better than wine and milk. For the soul it is a spiritual treasure of merits yielding an abundance of gold and precious stones. Against the hardness of a heart that persists in wrongdoing, it acts as a hammer. Against the world, the flesh and the devil it serves as a sword that destroys all sin.
--From a sermon
Things to Think About