Columbanus: We Are Exiles from the Lord Friday, Jun 8 2012 

It is natural for travellers to hasten toward their native land, and natural too that they should have trouble on the way and safety at home.

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.

Columbanus: “I Am a God Close at Hand, and not a God Who is Distant” Thursday, Feb 24 2011 

God is everywhere. He is immeasurably vast and yet everywhere he is close at hand, as he himself bears witness:

I am a God close at hand, and not a God who is distant.

It is not a God who is far away that we are seeking, since (if we deserve it) he is within us.

For he lives in us as the soul lives in the body – if only we are healthy limbs of his, if we are dead to sin.

Then indeed he lives within us, he who has said: And I will live in them and walk among them.

If we are worthy for him to be in us then in truth he gives us life, makes us his living limbs.

As St Paul says, In him we live and move and have our being.

Given his indescribable and incomprehensible essence, who will explore the Most High? Who can examine the depths of God?

Who will take pride in knowing the infinite God who fills all things and surrounds all things, who pervades all things and transcends all things…?

The infinite God whom no-one has seen as he is?

Therefore let no-one try to penetrate the secrets of God, what he was, how he was, who he was.

These things cannot be described, examined, explored.

Simply – simply but strongly – believe that God is as God was, that God will be as God has always been, for God cannot be changed.

So who is God? God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God.

Do not demand to know more of God….Just as the depths of the sea are invisible to human sight, so the godhead of the Trinity is beyond human sense and understanding.

[…] Therefore, seek the highest knowledge…not with the tongue, gathering arguments from God-free theories, but by faith, which proceeds from purity and simplicity of heart.

If you seek the ineffable by means of argument, it will be further from you than it was before. If you seek it by faith, wisdom will be in her proper place at the gateway to knowledge, and you will see her there, at least in part.

Wisdom is in a certain sense attained when you believe in the invisible without first demanding to understand it.

God must be believed in as he is, that is, as being invisible; even though he can be partly seen by a pure heart.

Columbanus (540-615): Instr. De compunctione, from the Roman Office of Readings for Thursday of the 7th week in Ordinary Time @ Universalis.

Columbanus: I Hope He will Set Me on Fire with the Flame of His Divine Love Tuesday, Oct 12 2010 

How happy, how lucky are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes!

How blessed it is to be wakeful and watching for God, who created all things, who fills them with being and exceeds all of them in greatness!

I am a lowly creature but I am still his servant, and I hope that he will choose to wake me from slumber.

I hope that he will set me on fire with the flame of his divine love, the flame that burns above the stars, so that I am filled with desire for his love and his fire burns always within me!

I hope that I may deserve this, that my little lamp should burn all night in the temple of the Lord and shine on all who enter the house of God!

Lord, I beg you in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my God, give me a love that cannot stumble so that my lamp can be lit but can never go out: let it burn in me and give light to others.

And you, Christ, our gentle Savior, in your kindness light our lamps so that they shine for ever in your temple and lighten our darkness and dispel the shadows of the world.

I beg you, my Jesus, fill my lamp with your light. By its light let me see the holiest of holy places, your own temple where you enter as the eternal High Priest of the eternal mysteries.

Let me see you, watch you, desire you. Let me love you as I see you, and before you let my lamp always shine, always burn.

Beloved Savior, show yourself to us who beg a glimpse of you.

Let us know you, let us love you, let us love only you, let us desire you alone, let us spend our days and nights meditating on you alone, let us always be thinking of you.

Fill us with love of you, let us love you with all the love that is your right as our God.

Let that love fill us and possess us, let it overwhelm our senses until we can love nothing but you, for you are eternal.

Give us that love that all the waters of the sea, the earth, the sky cannot extinguish: as it is written, love that no flood can quench, no torrents drown.

What is said in the Song of Songs can become true in us (at least in part) if you, our Lord Jesus Christ, give us that grace. To you be glory for ever and for ever. Amen.

Columbanus (540-615): Instr. De compunctione, 12, 2-3, from the Roman Office of Readings for Tuesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time @ Crossroads Initiative.