“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5.16
An old saying has it, “Your walk walks, and your talk talks, but your walk talks more than your talk talks.”
The monk Jonas said as much about Columbanus: “Everywhere that he went the noble man preached the Gospel. And it pleased the people because his teaching was adorned by eloquence and enforced by examples of virtue.” Columbanus understood the truth that Francis would so eloquently summarize half a millennium later: “Evangelize always; if necessary, use words.”
Jonas continues, “So great was his humility and that of his followers that just as the children of this world seek honour and authority, so they on the contrary vied with one another in the practice of humility…Such piety and love dwelt in them all, that for them there was only one will and one renunciation. Modesty and moderation, meekness and mildness adorned them all in equal measure. The evils of sloth and dissension were banished. Pride and haughtiness were expiated by severe punishments. Scorn and envy were driven out by faithful diligence. So great was the might of their patience, love and mildness that no one could doubt that the God of mercy dwelt among them” (Life of St. Columban).
The people of Gaul, to whom Columbanus and his troop went with the Gospel, were a combination of rank pagans and worldly Christians. Little in the way of spiritual vitality existed among the Gauls, although those who could, made the most of the veneer of Christianity which yet remained. Kings and their courts, and the priests who served under their protection, were worldly, ambitious, and not accustomed to being disobeyed.
They were in for a shock.
Columbanus and his company were men of such honor and spiritual depth, and they preached and taught so clearly and consistently, that it didn’t take long for word to spread throughout the realm that something new was in town. These Irish monks talked the talk, and they walked it, too.
So must we.
Resources for Shepherds
Of course, to make progress in the life of faith we need grace – wave after wave of it. But what is grace? How does it operate in and through us? How can we know more of it? These questions and more are addressed in our book Grace for Your Time of Need. Learn more about this book and order your free copy by clicking here.
Don’t forget to visit the Resources for Shepherds page at our website, where you’ll find reviews, insights, and exhortations to help you in your walk with and work for the Lord.
From the Celtic Revival
We’ve gathered a few resources about the Celtic Revival onto a single page at our website. Visit by clicking here to watch a video, listen to a podcast, download a resource, or ask a question about the Celtic Revival.
Here’s an excerpt from the current issue of Crosfigell, our twice-weekly teaching letter drawing insights from the writers of the Celtic Revival:
For the eternal and omnipotent Creator of things, abiding always as Three and as One without any diminution of His power – He alone, beyond time, preceded all He made. Then, so that He might reveal through created things all the vast goodness and power and benevolence which beforehand He had possessed within Himself, He divided the unformed matter which He had made from nothing at the first into all the manifold species of visible and invisible things – that is, things sensible and insensible, intellectual and lacking intellect.
- Augustine Hibernicus, On the Miracles of the Holy Scripture (7th century)
The world we live in is “creation”, not “nature”, and the more we view, understand, enjoy, use, and talk about creation from that point of view, the more likely we will be to bring honor and glory to our Creator.
What does Crosfigell mean? Here’s a little video explaining the name of our teaching letter.
T. M. Moore.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.