Today is the feast day of Gregory the Great, who was the Bishop of Rome from 590-604 AD. He is credited with sending the first missionaries to the English people, so the earliest seeds of our church were planted through his leadership.
Gregory was an astute observer of the human condition and wrote about our tendency to self- deceive. He said, “For the mind frequently lies to itself about itself, pretending that it loves the good work when it does not, and that it does not care for worldly glory when in fact it does.” This is important to remember during Lent when we strive to fast or do works of charity. Our motives in these undertakings are complicated. However, rather than discourage us, this realization can turn us back towards God who offers us a new heart and a new spirit.
Thanks be to God, whose forgiveness and grace for our shortcomings become our very motivation for serving God and others.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington