Thursday, July 3, 2008

Food for Thought

Columbanus was a tireless Irish missionary monk working in Europe and lived during the period of 543 to 615. He was no stranger to hardship, persecution and controversary. If you know anything about the growth of the Christian faith in Ireland Columbanus will be familiar. He was known also for the strictness of the Rule of Life that he and his followers observed; a rule for living that was widely adopted. Here is another of his writings from his Letter to a Young Disciple.

Be respectful to the worthy, merciful to the poor.

It is no sin to have wealth, but it is sinful to be attracted to wealth. It is the love of money, not money itself, which is the root of all evil.

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.

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