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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

25 May AD 716 - 2016. 1300 years since St Duncan, Abbot of Iona.

Celtic Cross on St Columba's island of Iona.

St Duncan, Abbot of Iona, in Scotland.
St Duncan's name in Irish is St Dunchadh. (It means Brown (Dun) Noble, Chief or Warrior.

If the ancient Annals of Ulster and the Annals of the Four Masters are correct, today marks 1300 years since this holy man's soul took flight for heaven, leaving his exiled body in the monastery-island of Iona. It was 25 May, 716.

Duncan was a rich young man; well connected. 
His paternal grandfather was Moelcobh, King of Ireland. 

But Duncan heard Our Lord in the Holy Gospels saying...

"If thou wilt....Si vis... If you will

Duncan, if thou wilt be perfect go, 
sell what thou hast and give to the poor, 
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, 
and come follow me."

Si vis.... If thou wilt... follow Jesus perfectly... 

It would not be an easy choice. 

The Gospel records another young man who being struck at those words went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. But no! 

We rejoice today. 
All rich that he was, Duncan abandoned the world!
He made the perfect choice!
Guided by Jesus he chose for himself
the happiest of all happy options: 
the monastic and missionary life.

We rejoice today.
By God's grace Duncan joined St Columba's missionary-monastic order. 

First he lived in an Irish coastal monastery.  

After a time, he willed to embrace a holy exile for the love of Jesus by leaving his native country. St. Columba had done this. Thousands of other monks had done this same thing.

He had been thinking of going to live as a foreigner in Germany, but instead, it became clear in prayer that God willed him to cross the sea to the monastery island of Iona. He was soon made Abbot. Under his guidance the monks of Iona adopted the Roman calculation for Easter and the Roman Tonsure. Fishermen and seafarers invoked him for the protection of their boats and safety on the sea. He was a saint with the gift of miracles. As a man he was a Scripture scholar. His preaching was persuasive, eloquent and zealous.

We Rejoice that Religious life, 
opened by Jesus to all who will to embrace it
The happiest of all happy options.

Jesus said to him:
"Thou knowest the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, bear not false witness, do no fraud, honour thy father and mother. But he answering, said to him: Master, all these things I have observed from my youth.

And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. 
Who being struck sad at that saying, went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looking round about, saith to his disciples: How hardly shall they that have riches, enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus again answering, saith to them: Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches, to enter into the kingdom of God? It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Who wondered the more, saying among themselves: Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking on them, saith: With men it is impossible; but not with God: for all things are possible with God. 

And Peter began to say unto him: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee.  

Jesus answering, said: Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting. (Mk. 10: 19-30)


Anonymous said...

Deo Gratias!

Anne B said...

May the reward for each of you - on another Island - be very great in Heaven!

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