Today is the commemoration of Saint Columbkille (521-597), the Irish monk-missionary who brought Catholicism from Ireland to Scotland in 563, and thence to the rest of Europe, setting up the famed Abbey of Iona, a little jewel of an island just west of the Isle of Mull. He is the patron of the diocese in which I live, so this is a feast for us, a time to celebrate, to remember and reinstantiate what the saints offer us, and the glory of our Faith.
For we forget so easily if we do not. Paula Adamick’s Ireland’s Last Domino bemoans the loss of faith in the Emerald Isle, and its descent back into a new, and darker, barbarism. As Saint Paul reminds us in today’s first reading, soon people will have itching ears, and will not endure the truth, nor sound teaching, but will seek after myths and fables, primarily, as we see, to justify their disordered passions and desires.
There is always hope, and today is also the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which still beats within her human, if now glorified, body, and the Mother of God promises will triumph in the end. Devotion to Mary is, as the saints have always said, a sure and certain path to eternal life, for Christ refuses no request of His Mother. Our faith is such a human faith, the link, of course, being the Incarnation, which really does change everything. To paraphrase Irenaeus, if God is Man, then Man can become God, and all things have indeed been made new.
Immaculate heart of Mary, ora pro nobis!
Saint Columbkille, urnaigh dhuinn!