Crosfigell

Unworthy, but Loved

If Columbanus was an idler, I'm in a perpetual sleep.

"So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"

    - Luke 17.10

Would that me also, wretched though I be, yet His poor servant, He might deign so to arouse from the sleep of idleness, so to kindle with that fire of divine love, that the flame of His love, the longing of His so great charity, would mount above the stars, and the divine fire would ever burn within me!

  - Columbanus, Sermon XII (Irish, 7th century)

We are unworthy, brethren. We have nothing with which to commend ourselves to God, nothing to parade before Him as proof that He ought to have made us His own children. We are unworthy.

But we are loved, loved with divine love, a fire that burns for us in the heart of God, that moved Him to create us, inclined Him to save us, and glows in Him to sustain and bless and keep us every day of our lives.

We are loved. How can that be?

Only because God is love. Only because Christ is love. Only because the Spirit is love, and the love of these Three, focused as One on our lives through and through, is the only explanation for us and our existence.

O that God might fire that kind of love in me!

If Columbanus was an idler, I'm in a perpetual sleep. Few in the history of the Christian movement ever undertook more, or worked harder and longer or with more courage, than the great Irish peregrini. Yet he considered all his splendid and fruitful works as idleness, compared with the work Christ had done and was doing for and in him.

We are unworthy. But Christ is worthy of all our love and all our labor, every day of our lives. Let us pray with Columbanus that God would ignite in us, and bring to a raging heat, a fire for Him that simply cannot be quenched. And let that fire move us to works of love on behalf of others, for the progress of the Kingdom, for the glory of God.

And when He does, when that love comes to fruition in us, let us take care to remember, that we are not worthy; we have only done what we have been commanded in loving our neighbors as ourselves.

And that with a love, not our own.

T. M. Moore, Principal

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore