Tony Worner, Leader of Formation at St Agnes’ Catholic reads from the Gospel of Luke (17:11-19) in which we hear the familiar story of the healing of the Ten Lepers. After reading the Gospel, Tony shares a little about the life of St Leo the Great whose memorial we celebrated today.
Tony says St Leo was elected Pope in 440 and as Leo the First, he shepherded the Church during some most difficult times. He confronted and turned back Attila the Hun in 452. And he witnessed the Vandals’ sack of Rome in 455. And through all this he cared for his people. He is known as one of the best administrative popes of the ancient Church. Fittingly he has been called Leo the Great. In celebrating the life of and giving thanks for this great man, Tony says he is reminded from the Gospel of the importance of saying ‘thanks’.
Only one of the ten returned to say ‘thank you’. In this, we are reminded of the need to always be grateful. Br David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, now 95 years of age, who divides his time between the life of a hermit and extensive lecture tours, speaks about the need to always be grateful. He suggests, “Want to be happy? Be grateful”. He reminds us to ‘Wake up grateful’. He has a great TED talk on this and his website ‘gratefulness.org’ is a wonderful resource.
Each evening at the dinner table, each member of Tony’s family takes a turn to mention something that they are grateful for from the past day. While not always deep and meaningful, it has become a habit, a ritual that will, hopefully, be a part of the children’s lives. So, Tony says, as we always do, we ask St Leo the Great to pray for us.