‘On this day Blessed Laurence earned his triumph when he trod underfoot the noisy world and rejected its blandishments, thereby defeating the devil who sought his soul. Accordingly the Church of Rome commends this day to our observance. Laurence carried out the office of deacon in the Church, as you know. In that office he administered Christ’s sacred blood to the faithful; and for Christ’s sake he shed his own blood. The blessed apostle John clearly expounded the mystery of the Lord’s Supper when he said: “Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so should we lay down our lives for our brothers”. Saint Laurence understood this and acted accordingly. His self-sacrifice was similar in kind to that which he received at the altar. He loved Christ in his life and imitated him in death.
Brethren, let us imitate Laurence if we truly love Christ. We cannot show a better proof of our love than by imitating him. “Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we might follow in his footsteps”. It is clear from these words that the apostle Peter understood that, since Christ suffered on behalf of those who follow his footsteps, his passion is of no avail to those who do not imitate him. The holy martyrs imitated him even to the point of shedding their blood in emulation of his passion. But it was not only the martyrs that imitated him. When they passed into eternity, the bridge was not broken down, nor did the fountain dry up after they drank from it’.
from a sermon by St Augustine of Hippo, 354-430
Almighty God, who didst endue blessed Lawrence with power to overcome the fires of his torments: give us grace, we beseech thee, to quench the flames of our sins; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon