Saint Columba: Apostle of Caledonia

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Catholic Publication House, 1868 - 171 pages
A narrative from the third vol. of "The Monks of the West."

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Page 34 - We were now treading," said, in the eighteenth century, the celebrated Johnson, who was the first to recall the attention of the British public to this profaned sanctuary — " we were now treading that illustrious island which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and the blessings of religion.
Page 34 - To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish, if it were possible. Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses; whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings.
Page 34 - Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses ; whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and from my friends be such frigid philosophy, as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the...
Page 25 - It is not recorded that any among his kindred attempted to hold him back ; but when he acquainted his disciples with his intended emigration, twelve among them decided to follow him. The most ardent of all was a young monk called Mochonna, son of the provincial king of Ulster. In vain Columba represented to him that he ought not to abandon his parents and native soil. " It is thou," answered the young man, " who art my father, the Church is my mother, and my country is where I can gather the largest...
Page 36 - No trace of this feeling, however, remains in a still more characteristic poem, which must have been confided to some traveller as a message from the exile of lona to his country. In this he celebrates, as always, the delight of voyaging round the coast of Ireland, and the beauty of its cliffs and beach. But, above all, he mourns over his exile. " What joy to fly upon the white-crested sea, and to watch the waves break upon the Irish shore...
Page 36 - From the high prow I look over the sea, and great tears are in my grey eye when I turn to Erin — to Erin, where the songs of the birds are so sweet, and where the clerks sing like the birds ; where the young are so gentle, and the old so wise ; where the great men are so noble to look at, and the women so fair to wed.
Page 129 - Upon which, still caressing the faithful brute, he gave him a last blessing. When this was done he used the remnants of his strength to climb to the top of a hillock from which he could see all the isle and the monastery, and there lifted up his hands to pronounce a prophetic benediction on the sanctuary he had created. ' This little spot, so small and low, shall be greatly honoured, not only by the Scots kings and peoples, but also by foreign chiefs and barbarous nations ; and it shall be venerated...
Page 136 - They burnt the monastery for the first time in 80 1 ; again in 805, when it contained only so small a number as sixty-four monks ; and finally, a third time, in 877. To save from their rapacity a treasure which no pious liberality could replace, the body of St Columba was carried to Ireland. And it is the unvarying tradition of Irish annals that it was deposited...
Page 6 - His guardian angel often appeared to him ; and the child asked if all the angels in heaven were as young and shining as he. A little later Columba was invited by the same angel to choose among all the virtues those which he would like best to possess.

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