Monday, May 23, 2011

Following Jesus the "Celtic" way . . .

PSALM 145:3-7 GENESIS 22:14-l8 ROMANS I2:l6-l8


Bede speaks of Bishop Colman and his predecessors Aidan and Finan:

The sole concern of the teachers of those days was to serve God, not the world, and to feed the soul, not the belly. The religious habit, therefore, was held in great respect at that time, so that whenever a cleric or monk appeared he was welcomed gladly by everyone as a servant of God. Even if one was discovered passing on the roads they would run up to him and bow their heads, and were glad to be signed with the cross by his hand or blessed by his lips; and they paid close heed to such men's exhortations. On the Lord's Day they gathered eagerly in the church or monasteries, not to get food for their bodies but to listen to the word of God; and if a priest came by chance to their village the people at once came together, eager to receive from him the word of life. The priests and clerics themselves visited the villages for no other reason than to preach, baptize, visit the sick and, in sum, to care for their souls; and so free were they from any taint or avarice that none accepted grants of land and estates for building monasteries unless compelled by the secular rulers!


Aidan, dining one Easter with King Oswald, was himself ill at ease with the feast set before them. Just then a servant arrived to say that many poor people had arrived at the castle asking for alms. Oswald with a wave of his arm ordered their own meal to be taken away and fed to the people outside, and the silver plate broken and distributed between them. Aidan was so overcome that he exclaimed, 'May the hand that did this never perish.'
Any society or 'civilization' may best be judged by the way it treats its weakest members.

Lord, daily order my steps that I might be transformed into your likeness; imperfect as I am, make me a mirror that reflects your uncompromising love. Holy Spirit rule in and over me.


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