Today is the feast of one of our favorite Doctors of the Church, St. Lawrence of Brindisi. The Church refers to him as the Apostolic Doctor. He lived in turbulent times but he put his immense gifts of learning at the service of Christ and His Church and he gained much fruit. The Protestants were convinced by his depth of knowledge of Sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers; the Jews were impressed to see his knowledge of the Bible in its original languages and of their own rabbinic traditions. His preaching and teaching were grounded in a profound life of prayer. Even the worldly and powerful sought him out for advice.
Pope Benedict devoted his Wednesday audience a few months ago to St. Lawrence. The Pope noted that “the whole of his activity was inspired by great love for Sacred Scripture, which he knew thoroughly and by heart, and by the conviction that listening to and the reception of the word of God produces an inner transformation that leads us to holiness.”
“The word of the Lord is a light for the mind and a fire for the will, so that man may know and love God. For the inner man, who lives through the living grace of God’s Spirit, it is bread and water, but bread sweeter than honey and water better than wine or milk…. It is a weapon against a heart stubbornly entrenched in vice. It is a sword against the flesh, the world and the devil, to destroy every sin”.