So let us who are on the way to it hasten toward our native land; for our whole life is like a single day’s journey.
And therefore let us devote ourselves to divine rather than human affairs, and like exiles be always sighing for our native land and longing for it.
For the journey’s end must always be wished and longed for by travellers, and so because we ourselves are travellers and exiles in the world we should always be thinking of the journey’s end, that is, the end of our life, for our journey brings us to our native land.
But, there, all who have been travelling the world get different lots according to their merits.
The good travellers come home because they love the journey. Let us not love the journey to our native land, so that we do not lose our eternal home, for that is the kind of home we have, and which we must love.
Let this, then, be our constant aim: to live our way like travellers, exiles, visitors to the world, without clinging to any worldly ambitions or longing to fulfil any worldly desires, but to fill our minds entirely with heavenly and spiritual images, singing in thought and deed: When shall I come and appear before the face of my God?
For, my soul thirsts for the strong and living God. And saying with Paul: I long to die and be with Christ.
Let us realise that although We are exiles from the Lord as long as we are in the body, we are present in the sight of God.
Therefore spurning all laziness, putting away all lukewarmness, let us do our best to please him who is present everywhere.
Then, with a good conscience, we may pass happily from our journey in this world to the holy and eternal home of our eternal Father, from the present to the absent, from sorrow to joy, from transitory to eternal, from earth to heaven, from the region of the dead to that of the living.
And then we shall see, face to face, the world of heaven and the king of kings, our Lord Jesus Christ, ruling his kingdom with right government, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Columbanus (540-615): Instr. De compunctione, VIII.1-2 (PL 80:244-246); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time Year 2.