I recall on my first visit to Romania attending the funeral of an old lady in a small village. The Parishioners had kept vigil all night before the funeral, waiting patiently outside her home, saying fervent prayers for their departed friend. There were weeping and sorrow mixed with resurrection hope and humble faith together with profuse expressions of sympathy and compassion for the bereaved family.
St Columba ordains a priest.
In central Scotland, there was a priest called Molluch who wanted to be a priest although he could not read or write. He approached St Columba on one of the saint’s missionary journeys to that region. St Columba wanting to test Molluch’s faith told him to go and fish in the nearby lake and when he had caught a fish to come back. Puzzled by this instruction but obedient Molluch took a small coracle to the lake and started fishing. For two days and two nights, he caught nothing but on the third day he caught a fish. However, on catching the fish he took pity on it; carefully removing it from the hook, he returned it to the water. Rowing back to shore Molluch confessed to the saint and told him what had happened. St Columba commended him for his patience, compassion, and humility; qualities which he saw as necessary for the priesthood. St Columba ordained Molluch who duly proved to be an excellent priest.
O What Faith
Luke 7:9; “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.”
Gentle gentile strong and brave
Built a synagogue and gave
A chance of life to his dear slave:
By his faith.
He showed his care and great compassion
In more than any normal ration
When humility was not the fashion:
He showed faith.
A Centurion ruled with iron glove
But this one knew of Him above
Whose hands could heal with powerful love:
Considerate in his way and kind
A virtue one would rarely find
In one so masterful a mind:
Blessed by faith.
His faith was simply of the best
Surpassing Israel and the rest
Such trust which passes every test:
This is faith.
To the glory of God
Sayings from the Desert Fathers
The old men used to say, “If someone has faith in another and hands himself over to him in complete submission, he does not need to pay attention to God’s commandments but he can entrust his whole will to his father. He will suffer no reproach from God, for God looks for nothing from beginners so much as renunciation through obedience.”