The pastor should always be a leader in action, that by his living he may point out the way of life to those who are put under him, and that the flock, which follows the voice and manners of the shepherd, may learn how to walk rather through example than through words…For that voice more readily penetrates the hearer’s heart, which the speaker’s life commends, since what he commands by speaking he helps the doing by showing.
(Gregory of Rome, Liber Regulae Pastoralis)
Tossed about by secular waves,
Gregory clung onto prayer.
Though shipwrecked by life,
He found there a raft
Which stilled him and calmed him
And gave him grace to serve.
Floating in the Word – a river
Deep enough to contain
An elephant, yet smooth enough
To let the smallest lamb bathe safe –
He fed on timeless truth and found
Enough to feed his flock tenfold.
He learnt from Job’s humble, cut-down tree;
He clothed himself in ash and dust
And knew that all the best he said
Came only from God’s pure stream.
The Shepherd let his people graze
And grazed along with them.